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At UN, Ban Has Belatedly Watched "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka," Response UNclear

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 28 -- "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" has finally been watched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to a one-word response provided to Inner City Press on December 28 by Ban's Office of the Spokesperson.

  The documentary depicts UN culpability in the abandonment and killing of civilians in Northern Sri Lanka in 2009, when Ban was, as now, Secretary General; it reports on the so-called White Flag killings of Tamil Tiger leaders in whose surrender Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar played a role.

  For months, Ban's spokespeople said he hadn't watched the documentary. During a visit by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Inner City Press filmed Sri Lankan Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona telling Rajapaksa that Ban had already seen the government produced rebuttal to "Killing Fields" -- but not yet the film itself.

On December 28, Inner City Press put questions in writing to Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, including

"Yes or no, has [Ban Ki-moon] ever watched "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka," given that Sri Lanka says he watched the gov't-produced rebuttal?"

Four hours later, the following arrived:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM
Subject: Questions
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

On the "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka": Yes.

So Ban HAS belatedly watched "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka." When? What is his response to it, given its criticism of the UN under his tenure? We will continue to pursue this.

(c) UN Photo
Mahinda Rajapaksa & Ban, reaction to Killing Fields and LLRC not seen

   Ban still has no comment on the government's Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission report. On December 28 Inner City Press asked

"The summary of the LLRC report that the Executive Office of S-G Ban Ki-moon has asked the Department of Political Affairs to prepare, when is it due?"

 To this, the answer was

"On the LLRC report: As we have said before, it is being studied. If we have more, we'll let you know."

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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