Ambassador Haidari Discusses Protection of Afghan Refugees in Meeting with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe
Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari attended a briefing meeting for the diplomatic community chaired by the Honorable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on May 24, 2019. The briefing focused on the situation in Sri Lanka since the Easter terrorist attacks on April 21. The Ambassador raised concern about the protection needs of Afghan refugees in Sri Lanka, some of whom have been affected by communal violence and remain vulnerable, following the attacks.
Ambassador Haidari recommended resettlement as a durable solution, while urging that special attention be paid to the safety of Afghan refugees, who had fled violent extremism and frequent terrorist attacks at home, cautioning against refoulement, with which UN Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer agreed. The Ambassador thanked the Government of Sri Lanka and UNHCR for working together to ensure the safety of all refugees. He requested that the UN be supported to provide basic facilities and services for refugees in a secure environment.
Read one of Ambassador Haidari’s early articles on “The Plight of Afghan Refugees,” discussing the main drivers of Afghan refugees’ flight. The piece illustrates how Afghans have been a primary target of terrorism and violent extremism and thus must not be subjected to any violence in reaction to the devastating attacks that were carried out by Sri Lankan extremists, who happened to be Muslim.