Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: UN Secretary General here next month first in 35 years

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is to visit Sri Lanka end of February. This is the first official visit in 35 years by a UN Secretary General to Sri Lanka. The last was by U. Thant in April 1967, the Foreign Ministry said in a release yesterday.
Annan, during his two-day stay in Sri Lanka will visit Jaffna with Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Fernando invited Mr. Annan for an official visit to Sri Lanka during their respective meetings with him in New York.

Annan expressed his desire to travel to Jaffna with Minister Fernando when the latter extended the invitation during bilateral talks in June last year at the UN Headquarters, New York.

The visit will further strengthen the new ties that the UNF Government has established with the United Nations. Sri Lanka was left out during Mr. Annan's visit to South Asia in 2001 due to the absence of an official invitation by the then government, the release said.