Mobs pull down flags honouring slain Sri Lankan minister

United Nations flags at half mast were pulled down at offices in Sri Lanka’s rebel-held north Monday by mobs opposed to the show of respect for slain Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, a UN official said. United Nations flags at half mast were pulled down at offices in Sri Lanka’s rebel-held north Monday by mobs opposed to the show of respect for slain Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, a UN official said. The crowds either cut or forcibly removed flags in UN compounds in the rebel-held north of the island on the day of Kadirgamar’s funeral, UN spokesman Brennon Jones said, confirming reports from diplomatic sources.

“We don’t have the full picture right now. The incident is of deep concern to us and we shall issue a full statement on it tomorrow after we have consultations with our security co-ordinators,” Jones said.

Offices of the United Nations development program, children’s fund and refugee commission were among those affected in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi, 300 kilometres (187 miles) north of the capital Colombo.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) maintain their political headquarters in Kilinochchi and control the area.

Diplomats in Colombo, who declined t