His Panel Will Travel to Sri Lanka, Extension Not
-- Less than a month before its report of war
crimes in Sri Lanka is due, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Panel
of Experts “is now able to visit Sri Lanka and meet with the
Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation,” Ban told the
Press on Friday.
Press' question of whether he will make public his Panel's
report, due on January 15, Ban praised “the flexibility of
President [Mahinda] Rajapaska on this issue.”
and his ministers have opposed Ban's panel at every turn, getting Ban
to expressly limit it advising him on models of accountability. The
Panel said it would accept evidence until December 15, but neglected
to empty its e-mail in-box, resulting in submissions being refused.
evidence submitted by the Federal Express overnight mail
service was rejected, with no one present to accept packages, even on
told, after it asked and wrote about these rejections of
evidence, that there would be an extension. This was said publicly by
UN acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq on December 16 -- but 24 hours
later, no extension has confirmed, despite the report being due in
less than a month.
the Panel, Ban
says, will travel to Sri Lanka, if only to speak with the
government's own LLRC. We'll see.
UN's Ban & Mahinda Rajapaksa, limitation &
rejection of evidence not shown
Inner City Press posed questions about Sri Lanka to Austrian
Ambassador to the UN Thomas Mayr-Harting, who leaves the UN Security
Council in two weeks.
topic of accountability for war crimes
in Sri Lanka, Mayr-Harting said things “have not moved where it
should have moved,” while saying that the Security Council's
“informal interactive dialogues” with Sri Lanka were helpful, and
led to the same format for Chad and the Cheonan sinking incident
between the Koreas.
Inner City Press asked the UN's expert on Sexual Violence and
Conflict Margot Wallstrom about the new video evidence of women
killed by soldiers in the final stages of the conflict.
said such evidence is important and that her office is still deciding
on which countries to focus on. She is asking the UN General Assembly
for nine posts, but they only want to give seven. Watch this site.
* * *
War Crimes Panel Rejected Evidence, UN Promises
The day after the submission deadline of the
Sri Lanka war crimes Panel of Experts named by UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon, and after Inner City Press reported and
submissions being bounce back and rejected by the Panel, UN acting
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told the Press that “there will be some
extension of the deadline.”
December 15 at
noon, Inner City Press asked and wrote about the e-mail bounce backs.
That evening, Inner City Press heard that based on the mounting
questions, it was acknowledged that some extension might be required,
though perhaps limited to those who could prove their submission was
Inner City Press asked about another form of rejection by the panel:
packages of evidence sent by the Federal Express overnight mail
service which were turned back at the listed UN address, on the third
floor of the Dag Hammarskjold Library, with “no one to receive
this reflect the Panel's lack of seriousness?
UN's Ban & Panel: emails bounced, no one
receiving Fed Ex, extension not yet shown
that while the Panel's three members “travel” -- though not to
Sri Lanka, which they have not even asked to visit -- there is a
Secretariat. But why then were e-mails bounced due to a full mail
box? Why could Fed Ex packages not be delivered to the Panel?
to Inner City Press, that some 1100 submissions had been received as
of the end of November. How many more were rejected or bounced back?
Watch this site.