Sri Lanka tells UN will not accept foreign troops

Sri Lanka has told the United Nations it will not accept foreign troops when dealing with terrorists operating in Sri Lanka.

The United Nations Under Secretary General for Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angle Moratinos conveyed congratulations to President Maithripala Sirisena for taking swift action to control the situation after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, the President’s office said.

Moratinos, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, is arrived in Sri Lanka as a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (UNSG) and called on President Sirisena at the President’s Office today.

The UN Under Secretary General praised the President’s efforts and said that the international community is solidly behind these efforts to eliminate Islamist terrorism.

He said that the UNSG would send a team of counter-terrorism experts to assist Sri Lankan military officers by providing expertise and knowhow.

Moratinos, a former President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) said that his country Spain, too, came under a terrorist attack by Islam terrorists of Al Qaeda in 2004 and added that both Spain and Sri Lanka are peaceful, friendly countries hospitable to tourists and expressed dismay at such countries becoming targets of terrorists.

Moratinos said the UN Alliance of Civilizations has been entrusted with the task of compiling a UN report on protection of places of religious worship and he sought President Sirisena’s proposals for inclusion in the report.

He said that all forms of heinous attacks on places of religion are considered most barbaric, inhuman attacks on humanity and the entire world condemns such attacks.

President Sirisena thanked the UNSG and the Under Secretary General for the support extended at this difficult occasion and assistance to curb terrorism.

He said that foreign expertise and other assistance are required. However, he clarified that Sri Lankan forces are quite capable and said the country did not want foreign troops for these operations.

President Sirisena and Moratinos discussed the current steps taken to restore peace and maintain law and order.

They also discussed the issue regarding refugees in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)

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