8 September 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Strongly Regrets Decision by Sri Lankan Government


to Expel Spokesman for United Nations Children’s Fund


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General strongly regrets the decision of the Sri Lankan Government to expel James Elder, Spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Sri Lanka.

The Secretary-General expresses his full confidence in the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, which includes making public statements when necessary in an effort to save lives and prevent grave humanitarian problems.  The United Nations is working impartially to assist the people of Sri Lanka, and the Government should be supporting and cooperating with its efforts.

The Secretary-General will take up this issue with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the earliest opportunity and will continue to urge him to implement all the commitments made in their joint statement after the Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka in May.

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For information media • not an official record