“UNICEF has always upheld the principle of impartial advocacy and communication on behalf of children as a fundamental part of its global mandate.
“Through Mr. Elder, UNICEF has consistently spoken out against the suffering of children on both sides of the intense hostilities earlier this year and called for their protection. UNICEF unequivocally rejects any allegation of bias.
“UNICEF will continue to uphold its mandate in Sri Lanka, and elsewhere, to advocate and speak out on behalf of vulnerable children and women."
For further information, please contact:
Christopher de Bono, UNICEF New York, Tel + 1 212 303 7984; E-mail: email@example.com
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York, Tel + 1 212 326 7426; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sri Lanka's foreign secretary Palitha Kohona has told AFP that Elder's case is under review.
"Mr. Elder was doing propaganda in support of the LTTE," Kohona told AFP on Sunday. "It was unacceptable. UN officials are meant to be impartial and the government took a very dim view of it."
"Towards the end of the conflict, he issued statements that were not researched, not exactly based on fact, but reflective of the LTTE."