UN delays peace jobs for Lankans

By Chris Kamalendran

A United Nations plan to recruit more than 100 Sri Lankan police officers for its peace-keeping force has been put on hold indefinitely with no reasons given.

Two UN officials were scheduled to arrive in the country on June 18 to interview and recruit some 100 police officers from the rank of inspector and above. But the officials had still not come and no reasons were given for the delay, a police officer said.

The initial UN request for local police officers was 450 and a UN supervised exam was held for some 300 officers in May. However only 100 passed this exam, the officer said.

“This is highly unusual since the UN usually has a credibility of staying on schedule,” the police officer said.

The UN’s Colombo spokesperson, Mohan Samaranayake, said such recruitment procedures were not handled by the UN office in Colombo but were a matter for the Government and UN headquarters.

He said the mission in Colombo only arranged formalities such as visas, when the recruitment was finalized. Some 300 military and police personnel who were drafted to the UN peace-keeping force left the country in May.

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