Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has requested the United Nations not to interfere with the internal affairs of the island nation.

Addressing the 64th U.N. General Assembly in New York in Sinhala on Monday Mr. Wickremanayake said according to the U.N. charter 2(7) clause, no country or a force should interfere with the internal affairs of each and every country.

“The Prime Minister noted that Sri Lanka managed to defeat terrorism and the benefits of the victory would be shared with other countries in the world. He said the international community should extend support to the Sri Lankan government,” a statement issued here said.

It further quoted him as telling the U.N. General Assembly that the Sri Lankan government was committed to quickly resettling all displaced persons presently housed in welfare centres.

Over 2.85 lakh people were displaced in the war between the government forces and the LTTE which ended in the third week of May. Nearly 40,000 people have been resettled in the last few months and the government has committed to sending back at least 70 per cent of the remaining displaced, housed in relief camps in the north, by the end of January 2010.

“The government has given top priority to meeting the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians. He took the opportunity to thank the countries and international organisations that gave a helping hand towards the welfare of displaced persons in the north,” the statement quoted Mr. Wickremanayake as saying.

Separately, the U.N. Development Programme has inked a pact with Haleys to support resettled communities in Ampara district in the eastern province.

Under the agreement, UNDP will supply 15,000 bushels of seed paddy to be marketed by the company. “This new partnership will not only help the company find new sources of agricultural inputs but at the same time help communities establish sustainable enterprises,” the UNDP said in a press release.

UNDP Country Director Douglas Keh described the initiative as a key to sustainable recovery in Sri Lanka. “From humanitarian needs like food and blankets, the requirements of the resettled communities are changing. The focus is now shifting to capacity building and training and physical infrastructure. The partnership with the private sector would help in building these capacities,” he said.

More In: International | News