Visa guidelines to check errant UN staffers here

The Foreign Ministry will issue new guidelines on Wednesday on visas to employees of UN agencies and affiliate bodies. A top government official said a new circular would ensure certainty, predictability and transparency in the entire visa issuing process as there had also been complaints from the UN body about alleged delays.

He said that it would also ensure the Sri Lankanisation of UN agencies here. In countries like China, India, Vietnam, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan indigenization of UN affiliates was already in operation and it was only in Sri Lanka in this region that such measures had not been taken.

Other sources said Sri Lanka’s requests to appoint Asians to positions in UN officers here, especially the UNDP and the UNICEF, where the hierarchies were dominated by Westerners, had almost totally been ignored despite some errant officials posted here had been deported since the time the late Lakshman Kadirgamar was the Foreign Minister.

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