Panel Entry Deadline to End of 2010, Trip
Before Jan 15?
The UN has quietly extended the deadline for
submission to its Sri Lanka war crimes Panel of Experts until the end
of this month, acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told Inner City
Press on December 20.
the run up to
the initial December 15 deadline, Inner City Press asked Haq and his
office about bounced e-mails and Federal Express overnight packages
of evidence which the Panel refused or could not receive. Haq said
that he thought an extension would be announced -- but then did not
having received more complaints about packages refused by the Panel,
Inner City Press again asked Haq about the projected extension.
Staring down at note, Haq said it is extended to the end of the year.
the Panel will in fact travel to Sri Lanka. Haq said he
had nothing to announced on that, while rephrasing the question to
concern only the Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission.
appears to mean that the Panel will not even be asking to
speak with, for example, ex General Sarath Fonseca, who has indicated
his willingness to testify about war crimes he says were ordered.
UN's Ban & Mahinda Rajapaksa, rejected evidence
and report not shown
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will keep confidential the report of
his Panel on Sri Lanka, Haq said Ban will decide once it is
submitted. Inner City Press asked if the Panel's January 15 deadline
is being extended. They are “on track,” Haq said. If so, the trip
must be soon, and the list of people spoken with would be short.
Watch this site.
* * *
Will Travel to Sri Lanka, Extension Not
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.
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
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
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.