Lanka, Ban Hasn't Seen Killing Fields Film Nor Reviewed UN
June 15 -- The day after the one hour documentary “Sri
Killing Fields” was shown on Britain's Channel 4 and the
Internet, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's
spokesman Martin Nesirky a series of questions about the
extrajudicial killings, rapes and UN misdeeds portrayed in the film.
Ban “has not actually seen the documentary” but is “aware of
asked what Ban has done on his commitment back in April to review the
UN's own actions in Sri Lanka. The documentary shows the UN workers
leaving Kilinochchi, covers the extrajudicial execution of two
surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders -- assurances of whose safety were
conveyed by Ban's own chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.
days, that review has not started. When Inner City Press asked Ban
about it on June 6, when he announced his bid for a second five year
term as Secretary General, Ban did not answer that part of the
question. On June 15, Nesirky said that the Secretariat is
with other parts” of the UN system “on how that will actually
re-appointment in the Security Council on June 16, and in the General
Assembly on June 21. Killing Fields may be screened inside the UN in
New York before that process is over. Will Ban has seen it by then? (Click
here to view it.)
Ban & Mahinda Rajapaksa, Killing Fields not shown
asked Nesirky if Ban has reconsidered his position that he cannot or
will not follow the recommendation by his own Panel of Experts that
he establish an independent international investigation mechanism
until either Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa government agrees, or the Security
Council, Human Rights Council or General Assembly orders it.
previous statements but added that for an investigation to have
“administrative and judicial powers,” a vote by one of the three
bodies would be required.
asked if that was an acknowledgment that an investigation like the
Democratic Republic of the Congo Mapping Report could be initiated
without waiting for a Security Council, Human Rights Council or
General Assembly vote.
used a phrase that he has used before: that the Panel of Experts
report “is out there.” So is the documentary The Killing Fields.
But what will Ban Ki-moon do? Watch this site.
UN's June 6, 2011 transcript:
Press: You commissioned that Panel of Experts report; then you
said that you couldn’t do any investigation unless an
intergovernmental body orders you to. Ms [Navenethem] Pillay has said
that such a body should be set up. Do you follow in that? And what
steps have you taken on this idea that you would review the UN’s
own performance in the final stages of the conflict? Even your Chief
of Staff has been described in a still murky incident of the killing
of surrendering fighters. So I was wondering: have you taken any
steps in the forty days since you said that to do that?
Ki-moon: You must have read all the recommendations of the
Panel’s report. Most of the recommendations of the Panel’s report
concern steps which the Sri Lankan Government needs to take. Beyond
what I can do within the UN to review its actions during the final
stage of conflict, much will depend on the Government of Sri Lanka
and the Member States who have been studying this report. Addressing
the issue of accountability will be an essential step towards lasting
peace and stability in the country. And I will continue to discuss
this matter with the Sri Lankan leadership so that they will
implement fully the recommendations in this Panel’s report. First
and foremost, proper action is needed to be taken by the Sri Lankan
Government. That’s what the international community really wants.
Again, another one is that I am still awaiting the response of the
Sri Lankan Government. I am checking almost every day, every week so
that they will send their response as soon as possible. That can give
me further review on their response.
* * *
Lanka, As Pillay Supports UN Report, Ban Merely Says It's Out There
May 31 -- Even after UN High Commissioner on Human Rights
Navi Pillay said in Geneva she supports that an international
mechanism on Sri Lanka be established, as Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's Panel of Experts recommended to him, Ban has not supported
on Tuesday asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban agrees with
what Pillay said, and if he has any comment on the video depicting
extrajudicial executions by Sri Lankan soldiers.
said that “in the first instance it is the responsibility of
sovereign states to conduct a credible investigation,” and that the
recommendations are “there are all to see.” But does Ban
support them? Nesirky said, “There should either be consent from
the SL authorities or a mandate from an intergovernmental body.”
video, Ban's spokesman said “we are certainly aware of it,” and
that it underscores the need for a “national” accountability
mechanism. But Ban's own Panel concluded that the Rajapaksas' Lessons
Learnt & Reconciliation Commission is deeply flawed.
is as yet no
action even on the one thing Ban said he would do, review the UN's
own actions on Sri Lanka, presumably including with regard to the
so-called White Flag killings of surrenderees.
just returned for the weekend from a trip including Nigeria and
Deauville, now leaves again on from June 1 to 3 to Italy. And so it
* * *
UN “staff were not in the
position to assess” the number of casualties in 2009, Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky told the Press on
April 27, as they had to withdraw because the Government said
security could not be guaranteed.
March 27, 2009, a detailed UN
document it obtained reported that the "minimum number of
documented civilian casualties since 20 January 2009, as of 7 March
2009 in the conflict area of Mullaitivu Region [is] 9,924 casualties
including 2,683 deaths and 7,241 injuries.”
leaked document, and here
for Inner City Press' report
exclusively published it.
the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs casualty figures. It now appears, including based on
statements by staff who have since left the UN, that Ban's UN
consciously decided to withhold and once leaked deny the casualty
information it WAS in the position to compile.
up on questions
put to Ban the
previous day, said that this topic and others will now be reviewed
the UN, by Ban and his senior advisers.
staff Vijay Nambiar, who was involved
in the White Flag killings which appear in the UN report at Paragraph
171, will be one of the senior advisers involved in the review.
the review “will look
at the full range of topics contained” in the report.
be allowed to play any
role in the review of an incident he was involved in? The answer
should have been, and should be, no -- but hasn't been.
made public. Nesirky would not say, but
acknowledged that there is a public interest in it. With 40,000
civilians reportedly killed, yes there is a public interest.
report's recommendations can
only be investigated if the Rajapaksa government consents or members
states vote for it in an intergovernmental forum, Ban when he
reported on Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council on April 26 did not
even ask them to schedule a vote on the recommendation for an
investigation of war crimes. We'll have more on this.
dependents were executed when they surrendered to the
SLA. In the very final days of the war, the head of the LTTE
political wing, Nadesan, and the head of the Tiger Peace Secretariat
Pulidevan, were in regular communication with various interlocutors
to negotiate surrender. They were reportedly with a group of around
300 civilians. The LTTE political leadership was initially reluctant
to agree to an unconditional surrender, but as the SLA closed in on
the group in their final hideout, Nadesan and Pulidevan, and possibly
Colonel Ramesh, were prepared to surrender unconditionally. This
intention was communicated to officials of the United Nations and of
the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States,
as well as to representatives of the ICRC and others. It was also
conveyed through intermediaries to Mahinda, Gotabaya and Basil
Rajapaksa, former Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona and senior
officers in the SLA.
[sic?] provided assurances
that their surrender would be accepted. These
were conveyed by intermediaries to the LTTE leaders, who were advised
to raise a white flag and walk slowly towards the army, following a
particular route indicated by Basil Rajapaksa.[sic?]
Requests by the LTTE
for a third party to be present at the point of surrender were not
granted. Around 6.30 a.m. on 18 May 2009. Nadesan and Pulidevan left
their hide-out to walk towards the area held by the 58th Division,
accompanied by a large group, including their families. Colonel
Ramesh followed behind them, with another group. Shortly afterwards,
the BBC and other television stations reported that Nadesan and
Pulidevan had been shot dead. Subsequently, the Government gave
several different accounts of the incident. While there is little
information on the circumstances of their death, the Panel believes
that the LTTE leadership intended to surrender.
been received, more than 60 hours later.
We will have more on this. Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb .26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.