Two days truce insufficient - John Holmes
As Sri Lanka started aggressive attack after the two days of so called ceasefire, UN's humanitarian chief John Holmes on Wednesday told the two days truce is insufficient.
As military action recommences in northern Sri Lanka, the UN's humanitarian chief John Holmes on Wednesday repeated government assurances that it would be in "siege mode." Holmes said, "if it push for onslaught on 'no fire zone', bloodbath will happen on the beach as I said earlier."
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- As military action recommences in northern Sri Lanka, the UN's top humanitarian John Holmes on Wednesday repeated government assurances that it would be in "siege mode." Inner City Press asked Holmes, given his estimate of 100,000 civilians trapped in 17 square kilometers, if the UN is asking for a cease-fire. Holmes said that "a cease-fire is not available, we are trying to achieve something realistic."
Holmes acknowledged that his UN local staff members are held without freedom of movement in the camps set up by the government. Press asked why he or UN did not speak about these detentions until asked, he said UN decided to go by "private diplomacy" !!
Holmes acknowledged that UN staff members -- who he pointed out are "local" or "Sri Lankan national" staff -- are held without freedom of movement in the camps set up by the government. Inner City Press asked him why he and the UN did not speak publicly about these detentions until being asked about it. Holmes said that the UN chose "private diplomacy." Asked twice if there are other countries in which UN staff are being similarly held but the UN is saying nothing, Holmes said "I can't think of a similar possibility at the moment."
The reporter made a valid point here. Why is UN treating Sri Lanka's government differently compared to other countries like Sudan or Israel which are condemned by UN for harming civilians while fighting with the rebels and for detentions. The reason is still outstanding !!
Left unexplained is why the UN is treating Sri Lanka's government different than, for example, those of Sudan or Israel, condemned by the UN for harming civilians while fighting armed opponents and for any detentions no matter how short in duration.
While the UN expends significant time and diplomatic capital seeking political solutions in Darfur and the Middle East, it is unclear what if anything is being done in the case of Sri Lanka.
Holmes acknowledged, the lack of media coverage has made his humanitarian coordination job more difficult in Sri Lanka. Lack of press access and of images from major press outlets limits knowledge and concern, but it's "beyond our control," he said.
Inner City Press asked Holmes if the lack of media coverage has made his humanitarian coordination job more difficult with respect to Sri Lanka. But he told it is beyond his countrol.