Sri Lankan demands withdrawal of UNICEF staff

Nov 23, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan has demanded the withdrawal of members of the international staff of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Colombo who had taken part in a public demonstration. A Foreign Ministry statement said Friday the demand was made at a meeting with UNICEF’s Country Representative at which it expressed “serious concern” over the participation of several members of its staff, including the international staff, at a recent public demonstration in Colombo.

The participation of staff in the demonstration was “in violation of the mandate of the UNICEF and was beyond the scope of its legitimate functions,” the statement said.

“The Country Representative was requested to take appropriate action against the staff members who participated in the demonstration, including the withdrawal of the concerned international staff and the termination of local staff.”

The statement said the UNICEF Country Representative had acknowledged the participation of some of its staff in the demonstration and assured that it would not be repeated in future.

Earlier this week, UNICEF had announced it was concerned about the safety and security of its work and staff in Sri Lanka fol