Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

EU's Ashton "Concerned" By Rights in Sri Lanka, On Election, No UN Ban Follow Up

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 22 -- The European Union's new High Commissioner Catherine Ashton appeared at the UN on Friday, and was asked by Inner City Press about Sri Lanka in the run up to elections, and about the GSP Plus tariff reduction program, whether the EU would curtail it for Sri Lanka. Video here, from Minute 4:05.

  Baroness Ashton responded that, while she was Trade Commissioner, GSP Plus had been a concern. "If we have a scheme, where we award the way we operate directly because of... treatment of people and human rights, if that falls short, it should be re-examined."

  She said that she was "very concerned" and had recommended that GPS Plus benefits for Sir Lanka "perhaps should be reconsidered."

  She did not, however, comment on violence in the run up to the January 26 election, nor on reports that Mahinda Rajapaksa has required cell phone companies to send out text messages supporting him.

  Inner City Press had asked if the UN's Ban Ki-moon had any view on the pre-election violence and intimidation. Days later, Ban's spokesman read out a statement that Ban remains concerned. But since the statement, a major opposition supporter's house has been attacked with hand grenades. At least five are dead and dozens injured. And from Ban, nothing.

EU's Ashton and UN's Ban: the former on GSP+, the latter now silent

  His spokesman wouldn't even allow a question on January 22:

Inner City Press: Can I ask one more?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I’d like, actually, to see if there are others, and I think I would ask Jean-Victor to join us. Just please do join. But, one thing I did want to respond to was, you asked a question, Matthew, yesterday...

   He then gave an answer on Haiti, the topic to which the UN has sought to confine question for ten days now. And on and after the Sri Lankan election? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN, Sri Lanka Shooting of Opposition Draws No Comment, No Investigation, Unlike Guinea or Togo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 12 -- A week after the UN went public with its rejection of requests for assistance to ensure greater freedom and fairness in Sri Lanka's upcoming election, a bus load of supporters of opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka was attacked by gunmen, killing one and injuring ten others.

  Inner City Press asked the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, who had said he was closely watching to ensure greater political openness in Sri Lanka, if Mr. Ban had any comment on the death political attack or would re-think his decision for the UN to play no safeguarding role in the election. Video here, from Minute 7:08.

  Having just heard United Nations Office for West Africa official Said Djinnit describe the UN's work in Togo to "prevent violence" in advance of that country's February 2010 election, Inner City Press asked why the UN would be providing such help in Togo, but not in Sri Lanka which Mr. Ban said he was concerned about.

  Mr. Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said it is not a "good idea" to be "drawing links between geographical regions."

   He said the UN had made it clear why it will not be providing observers or even technical assistance in Sri Lanka -- these reason are that there was not enough time, that a General Assembly vote was purportedly required -- and that, since the shooting incident was recent, there was no UN response.

   But will there be a response from Ban's UN in the future?

UN's Ban in Sri Lanka, waving, deadly attack on opposition supporters not shown

  Ban named a commission of inquiry into the death of 157 people in Guinea in September 2009, but none into thousands of killings in Sri Lanka. But, notably, France pushed Ban to name the Guinea panel, despite some opposition from Russia.

  Here, neither France nor the UK or U.S. -- countries that could deny Ban a second term as Secretary General -- have pushed for Ban to do more, and so he hasn't.

* * *

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -