(July 06, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) External Affairs Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe has arrived at the UN office in Colombo to appeal to NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa to allow the UN staff members to leave the premises.

The visit came after a section of the beseiged employees of the UN office in Colombo left the premises with police escort, but others were prevented leaving.

Witnessses said four foreigners were among the UN staff who drove out of the office in four vehicles with police escort.

The protesters tried to prevent the UN staff from leaving but police intervened and took them away safely.

More staff still remain in the building unable to leave.

The movement of UN staff was blocked when Minister Wimal Weerawansa's National Freedom Front arrived there and instructed the police not to allow any one to leave.

Mr. Weerawans later called Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and told him to order the police to withdraw. Meanwhile, NFF sources said they would remain in the tent outside the UN office and stage an all-night 'Thovil' ceremony to drive out evil spirits.

The protesters were demanding that the UN drop its panel set up to probe alleged war crimes during the last stages of the war in May last year.