UN special envoy for Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, who was recalled from Colombo last week, is to return to the South Asian country, a United Nations spokesman said Friday, dpa reported.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered Buhne on July 8 to return to New York for consultations and close the UN Development Programme office in Colombo.
This followed a hunger strike led by Sri Lanka's Construction and Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa in front of the UN office in Colombo to protest Ban's appointment of a three-member panel to investigate the alleged killing of civilians by government troops during the last months of the 26-year civil war.
Crowds gathered outside the UN's offices in Sri Lanka, blocking workers' access.
Ban said then it was "unacceptable" that Sri Lankan authorities had failed to prevent the disruption of UN activities.
On Friday, a UN spokesman said, "It is important to continue UN efforts to assist the people of Sri Lanka, particularly with regard to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the north."
He stressed that "obviously the functioning of UN operations in Sri Lanka will require positive cooperation," adding that Buhne would convey Ban's "expectations for a better treatment of the UN family in Sri Lanka."
The spokesman said Buhne was returning given the "changing circumstances in the country, which had allowed UN staff to return to work without the hindrance that they had faced earlier."
Buhne would also communicate Ban's expectations for the Sri Lankan government's progress on resettlement of internally displaced people, political reconciliation and accountability.
Thousands of civilians were reportedly killed as government forces closed in on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north of the country before defeating them in May 2009.
Both the government and Tamil rebels were accused of war crimes and other abuses during the civil war.