UN says two staff members arrested in Sri Lanka

June 20, 2009 (AFP) – The United Nations said on Sunday that two of its employees working among tens of thousands of war-displaced civilians had been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities. The two men, both ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils, were reported missing eight days ago and were subsequently discovered to have been taken into custody by Sri Lankan officials, the UN office in Colombo said in a statement.

“We are not aware which, if any, charges have been laid, and nor are we aware of the details of any accusations,” the statement said.

The two men were working for the UN refugee agency and the UN office for Project Services in the northern region of Vavuniya

Human rights organisations have reported that thousands of Tamils had been taken from the state-run camps for people displaced by the recently ended war between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The UN has often been at odds with the Sri Lankan government over Colombo’s handling of the final days of battle against the rebels and the treatment of 300,000 people displaced by the fighting.

The separatist Tamil Tigers were defeated last month when they lost the remaining territory under their control and their foun