UN in crisis talks

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema


Top UN official from New York, Director Asia-Pacific Division Department of Political Affairs Mari Yamashita arrived in Sri Lanka last week, The Sunday Morning learnt.

The main purpose of the visit was to ascertain first-hand, the ground situation in Sri Lanka amidst the ongoing political crisis.

Yamashita, it is learnt, has so far met and discussed the current political situation in the country with President Maithripala Sirisena, representatives of the United National Front (UNF), and Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

According to diplomatic sources, the outcome of Yamashita’s visit would determine the level of the UN’s role in resolving the current issue in Sri Lanka. The report by the UN official would also be the deciding factor on whether UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres would visit Sri Lanka to discuss a resolution to the current political impasse.

The UN official, along with the international community, has been closely following the goings-on in Sri Lanka and is expected to keep a close watch on the outcome of the vote in Parliament on a fresh motion expressing the lack of confidence in the President-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government on Wednesday (5), as well as the Supreme Court determination on Friday (7) with regard to the petitions filed challenging the President’s move to dissolve Parliament last month.