Anti-UN protestors to go on hunger strike in Sri Lanka

July 8th, 2010 - 12:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 8 (DPA) Protests outside the UN office in Sri Lanka against a human rights abuse enquiry entered the third day Thursday, as some demonstrators decided to go on a hunger strike.
An estimated 100 supporters of the National Freedom Front (NFF) led by cabinet Minister Wimal Weerawansa are involved in the pro-government protests against the war crimes panel, crippling the UN’s work in the country.

The UN appointed a three-member panel two weeks ago to advise Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on making Sri Lanka accountable for its actions during the final stages of the 26-year civil war against separatist Tamil rebels that ended last year.

“We are starting the hunger strike Thursday morning and will go on until the panel is withdrawn,” party spokesman party N. Bandara said.

The UN office was operating with a skeleton staff as most of staffers were told to keep away from work due to fears that the protests may turn violent.

The protestors Tuesday clashed with police and prevented the UN staffers from leaving their offices for several hours.

The government Wednesday neither condoned nor condemned the protest.

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