UN and US Work With Sri Lankan Soldiers in Haiti, UK Funded Study
Carnage in Lanka and Congo
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, Jan 20, updated Jan 21 with feedback -- Even as the UN speaks
and double speaks about
accountability and impunity following Sri Lanka's "bloodbath on
the beach," the UN in Haiti is working with battalion of Sri
Lanka's military, which overall has been accused of war crimes.
Mulet, speaking to the Press by video hook up from Haiti on January
19, said that in Leogane, "we" -- the UN -- "have the
Sri Lankan troops." Video here,
from Minute 19:06. UN official
Tim Callaghan, on press conference calls from Haiti, has described
the US as working with the Sri Lankan battalion.
City Press has repeatedly asked how the UN screens the supposed
peacekeepers it accepts from Sri Lanka, without answer. Given the US
State Department's own Office of War Crimes report on Sri Lanka, by
Stephen Rapp, one wonders what due diligence the US is using.
along with Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, have funded a story calls
"The Shrinking Costs of War," which downplays the impact of
civilians of wars in Sri Lanka as well as the Congo.
University Professor Andrew Mack, the author's study, said that post
Cold War conflicts are smaller and less deadly, and chided the media
for only being interested when major powers are involved. Video here,
from Minute 25:12.
conflict in early 2009 was undercovered by most international media.
But in fact "major power" China had provided much of the
weaponry, and the Security Council veto to block any discussion of
Sri Lanka soldiers to Haiti, bloodbath on the beach
The UK, faced
with Tamil protests, said it wanted a
debate, but accepted closed door basement sessions.
Ambassador John Sawers told the Press that while the votes were there
to put Sri Lanka on the Council's agenda -- where it would still be
-- it was decided that unanimity of the Council, including for use on
other issues, was more important.
Inner City Press asked UK Deputy Ambassador Philip John Parham if the
UK was happy with the findings of the study that it funded,
downplaying carnage in the Congo and Sri Lanka. Parham said he hadn't
yet read the report, but that it might be useful.
killings in the run up to the snap election, belatedly commented on
by the UN. China has gained access to swaths of south Sri Lanka,
bringing in its own laborers and continuing its "String of
Pearls" military strategy. The UK and US have backed down.
France's then Ambassador John Maurice Ripert repeated portrayed the
slaughter as anti-terrorism. His successor Gerard Araud has not been
heard on the topic.
Sawers' successor Mark Lyall Grant, who alone of the Western P-3 has
taken no questions at the stakeout yet this year. He speaks off the
record to select reporters, like Araud with one
still done nothing, on UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston's call
that he send a commission of inquiry to Sri Lanka. Pro government
media there gloat that Ban "distanced himself" from Alston.
That he did. Watch this site.
of January 21 -- a reader a submitted the following reminder:
Lankans in Haiti
From: [Name withheld in this format]
Sent: 1/21/2010 8:33:02 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
you for trying to bring the atrocities of the Lankan govt into the
spotlight again. I just wanted to give you one more point on the
issue of Lankan's involvement in Haiti. It's ironic that they are
allowed to work in the same place from where they were kicked out for
sexually abusing underage children, just a few years back. The
[Reuters version of] story is at
reminder. The above-linked Reuters story quotes then UN spokesperson
Michele Montas, who is now back in Haiti, most recently beamed by
video link from the UN's "Logistics Base" by the Port au
Prince airport offering a critique of media coverage, that "There
is a question of some underage girls," she added. Montas said
Sri Lanka would take further action against those accused of abuse.
"They are back under national jurisdiction. So far Sri Lanka has
said ... that they are going to be prosecuted in Sri Lanka." One
wonders if she has or will follow up on this. Watch this site.
* * *