UN official visits Sri Lanka refugee camps

September 17, 2009 (AFP) – A top UN official toured camps holding thousands of war-displaced civilians in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, amid international concern over delays in resettling the refugees. UN under secretary general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe, who arrived here late Wednesday, travelled to the northwestern district of Mannar and was to visit the main internment camps in the adjoining district of Vavuniya.

UN spokesman Gordon Weiss said Pascoe was also visiting the northern peninsula of Jaffna before returning to the capital and meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse for talks on Friday.

He was sent by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has voiced concern over delays in resettling the Tamil civilians living in the government-run camps.

Pascoe’s discussions would focus on “the resettlement of internally displaced persons, political reconciliation and the establishment of a mechanism of accountability for alleged human rights violations in the context of the conflict,” a UN statement said before he arrived on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka has resisted calls for war crimes investigations into its recent crushing of the long-running Tamil separatist insurgency and managed t