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As Myanmar Bans Some Voting, Invites UN to Come & Report Back to Ban

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 27 -- In the run up to elections in Myanmar in which at least three constituencies will be allowed to vote, Inner City Press on March 26 asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey if Ban thinks "it would be good if everybody in Myanmar can vote in this upcoming election, and what does he think of this suspension of voting rights in parts of Kachin state?"

  That day, Del Buey rationalized the disenfranchisement, saying "it all depends on the nature of the suspension. If the suspension is for security reasons, obviously, if you can’t hold elections because of security reasons, you may have to wait until the security situation is such that election authorities can go into the region."

  But in further response the next day March 27, Ban's spokesperson's office told Inner City Press that

Subject: Questions at the briefing
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Your question yesterday on Myanmar: In response to the government’s invitation, it has been decided that the United Nations will be present with a delegation from UN Headquarters in New York. The delegation will follow the election and report back to the Secretary-General at the conclusion of its mission.

  And then, Ban has said, he may travel to Myanmar later in April. But what about the Kachin?

  Also regarding Ban Ki-moon current trip which took him through Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand on his way to his native South Korea, Inner City Press on March 27 asked Ban's deputy spokesman if he had raised the issue of the death penalty in his meetings in any of these three nations, all of which conduct executions. The issue is not in Ban's readouts, and his deputy spokesman would not say if it was raised. Watch this site.

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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

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