UN raises Fonseka arrest with President

UN raises Fonseka arrest with President

March 16, 2010   08:00 am


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon raised the arrest of a defeated Sri Lankan opposition candidate with its president and expressed concern about events in the Asian nation, the United Nations said on Wednesday.


In a telephone call Tuesday night, Ban also agreed with President Mahinda Rajapaksa that Lynn Pascoe, head of the UN political department, would visit the island soon after the presidential inauguration this month, a UN statement said.


Tensions have risen in Sri Lanka since former army commander Sarath Fonseka was arrested by military police on charges of engaging in politics against his president while still in uniform.


The UN statement said Ban “expressed his concern (to Rajapaksa) about recent developments in Sri Lanka,” brought up Fonseka’s arrest and “urged the government to respect the due process of law and guarantee (Fonseka’s) personal safety.”


Ban also pressed Rajapaksa to keep a previous commitment to make proposals for a political solution of issues with the Tamil community in the north and ensure full accountability for any human rights violations.


More needed to be done to return people displaced by the fighting with the separatists to their places of origin, the UN chief said.


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