Sri Lanka unlikely to revoke expulsion of UN official | world | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka unlikely to revoke expulsion of UN official

world Updated: Sep 07, 2009 17:21 IST

The Sri Lankan government is unlikely to revoke its decision to expel a UN official from Colombo after he made remarks about the conditions of war refugees, a senior government official said on Monday.

Unicef spokesman James Elder was ordered to leave and his visa was cancelled.

An official who requested anonymity said that it was unlikely the decision would be overturned.

Unicef had sought a clarification about the sudden decision, but so far no clarification had been issued according to UN officials in Colombo.

Elder was quoted in the media about the plight of some 270,000 refugees living in camps in the northern part of the country.

He said that they were suffering hardship due to heavy rains after the camps went underwater in some areas of the Vavuniya district.

The population was displaced due to fierce fighting between government troops and rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The fighting ended on May 18 when the rebel leadership was defeated.

The government has been under pressure to resettle the refugees, but it says that mine clearing and infrastructure rebuilding must be done first.

Opposition parties in Sri Lanka have said that they doubt that the bulk of the refugees will be resettled by the government's year-end target.