A UNICEF official has been instructed to leave Sri Lanka by the government, which accused him of spreading propaganda supporting Tamil rebels, said a TV new channel citing the United Nations Children’s Funds.
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF spokesperson for South Asia, said that the allegations are not correct against its spokesman in Sri Lanka, James Elder, an Australian citizen. The officials with the agency are slated to meet with government authorities on Monday with hopes of keeping Elder inside the country.
However, there were no details about Elder’s status from the government.
Crowe said that Elder has frequently talked to the media about the agency’s concerns over children who are entrapped in the country’s civil war and over the conditions they have to undergo at camps for the displaced.
“James has been our voice and impartial advocate of the most vulnerable women and children. We want him to remain in the country and continue his work,” she said.
In the event of expulsion standing, the UNICEF will appeal to the “highest level”, Crowe said.
Needless to add, the Sri Lankan army defeated LTTE rebels earlier this year, which has been fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka since July 1983. In the conflict spanning almost three decades, almost 70, 000 people were killed.