Libya Bans a Lebanese UN Bodyguard, UN's Ban Says Nothing, Sources Say,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 26 -- At the UN, often it is the questions not
answered, and the protests not made, that are the real story. On
Thursday morning after answering Inner City Press' questions
Myanmar, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was asked to comment,
of your bodyguards was denied a visa because he is Lebanese. What's
that "I did enough yesterday. As you know I am
leaving for Sirte, Libya," Inner City Press has looked into the
issue. The raiser states that in the run up to the League of Arab
States Summit in
Sirte, Ban's office provide the Libyan mission to the UN with a list
of his entourage, and ran into a problem.
of Ban's bodyguard, the raiser says, is Mohammed Abdul-Hussein of
and its Leader have problems not only with Switzerland
-- for the arrest of Gadafi's son for abusing his employees -- but
also with Lebanon, on the matter of the Vanished Imam.
Libyan mission, the raiser says, told Ban's office that Mohammed
Abdul-Hussein of Lebanon was "persona non grata." Rather
than protest this, Ban or his office accepted, and submitted a list
without Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, which was accepted.
UN's Ban on a previous, sUNnier trip to Sirte
raiser says a member of the Office of Ban Ki-moon's spokesman told
him clearly that Ban knew of the issue, but let it go and decided, if
he'd say anything, to say it after the trip to and from Sirte -- this
was later denied.
But inevitably the failure to
protest would be
contrasted to Ban's protest of blockage of a journalist from one of
his traveling parties. Is the difference class, nationality or
religion, the raiser asked Inner City Press? Watch this site.
* * *
UN, As Friends on Myanmar Calculate Their Share, Ban Splits Difference
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 25 -- Following the closed door
meeting on Myanmar by
the UN Secretary General's "Group of Friends" on Thursday
morning, S-G Ban Ki-moon took two questions from the Press. One of
his advisors told Inner City Press that both the United States and
France have become "more nuanced," with only the UK still
beating the drum about what they call Burma.
He said that donors like
Norway and Australia and Japan are trying to "recalibrate."
He snidely pointed out that on roads outside of Yangon, the
construction equipment is "all from Caterpillar," the U.S.
India's Tata now plans a truck factory in Myanmar. India is said to
be concerned that if they don't invest, Myanmar will become an
economic colony of China. Money is talking.
was flanked by his interim envoy to Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar and
performed under the watchful eyes of diplomats from Friends of
Myanmar who urge a hands-off approach. One of these told Inner City
Press, before Ban began, that he would mention something about "that
lady." Inner City Press was about to say, "The Lady?"
but then asked Ban about it. See below.
Last Friends on Myanmar meeting- of this one, no photos were allowed
From the UN's transcript:
City Press: Mr. Secretary-General, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has said, she
has actually encouraged the NLD not to register for the polls under
the current laws. I wonder what do you think can happen between now
and when a date is set. Would you view that as a fatal flaw to the
election, if the NLD didn’t participate? And are you thinking of
naming a more permanent successor to Mr. [Ibrahim] Gambari to carry
out the good offices? Some say that having an interim person may
either reflect or be interpreted as a lack of commitment on the
SG: If what she said is based on her genuine belief,
based on the current situations, then we have to respect her
decision. I’m not quite sure what the surrounding circumstances
were as she made that statement. However, she is the leader of her
party and when she said such decision then I think that should be
respected. That depends upon how people will decide on that. As a
matter of principle, as I have said repeatedly, publicly and
privately to the Myanmar leadership, that this election should be
fully open, transparent, inclusive and participatory and credible,
and I told the Myanmar leadership that without full participation of
all the people, including political prisoners, and particularly Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, it may not be regarded as credible and inclusive.
Therefore all the process and development, we have to carefully
monitor. And about the appointment of Mr. Gambari’s position: at
this time I have designated my Chef de Cabinet, Mr. Vijay Nambiar as
ad interim Special Advisor until such time when I will be able to
find a Special Advisor for that post.
City Press: There was at least one report that you proposed a name to
Myanmar and they turned it down. Maybe the report was wrong?
No. I have never proposed any names.
purveyor of the report was the only other journalist to ask Ban a
Myanmar question. Before he did, a UN Security Officer asked him to
move away from the meeting room. He maintained to Inner City Press
that Nambiar traveled to Myanmar to deliver Ban's letter, and that
Ban has received a response that emphasizes Myanmar's sovereignty.
Inner City Press asked at the noon
briefing for confirmation that a
response had been received, but the spokesman merely said he would
look into it. Watch this site.