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On Rohingya & Bangladesh's Plan to Dump Them On Far Away Island, UN Spox After 22 Hours Replies

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 – Not only have the UN's “Good Offices” on Myanmar been ended - now the former office holder Vijay Nambiar is engaged in genocide denial after leaving the UN, still in New York, in his personal capacity. He did much the same previously on Sri Lanka. See below.

  On January 31, Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric,
From the UN transcript, Periscope here:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask, again, it has to do with the Rohingya, in this case, in Bangladesh.  Maybe you've seen reports that the Government of Bangladesh is considering moving the people that were able to cross the border in camps near the border to an island that's described as being often underwater.  Does the UN or, in particular, António Guterres have any…?

Spokesman:  I haven't seen those reports…

Inner City Press:  It's in the New York Times.

Spokesman:  I'll see what I can find.

  Twenty hours later and counting, nothing. Then after 22 hours, this, which we publish in full:

"Regarding your question at the noon briefing, UNHCR has the following to say: 'UNHCR is concerned and seeking details from the authorities. Any relocation must be consultative and voluntary. UNHCR notes that undocumented Rohingya have been living for years among the local community. A better alternative would be to register and document all Rohingya in Bangladesh no matter where they are.'"

  Given Ban Ki-moon's holdover spokesman's past practice, it would seem this answer was only provided directly since he canceled the February 1 noon briefing. Unlike to others, this spokesman waits to read answers, if he gives any, to Inner City Press' questions at the noon briefing.

On January 17, Inner City Press asked the UN's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about disappearances in Shan State, where just-left Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki Ho has been mining. UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: it's a case that involves two individuals, which has become pretty high profile, in Myanmar.  There are these two Baptist leaders, one of whom used to show journalists the effects of airstrikes by the Government in Shan State, and Fortify Rights has called for the Government to… to say where they are.  They've been disappeared.  Is the UN aware of it?  And who's been sort of monitoring the human rights aspects of Myanmar, not just the Special Rapporteur, but is there still a Secretariat function, as used to be carried out by Mr. [Vijay] Nambiar?

Deputy Spokesman:  There still is a Secretariat function that's being carried out now by the Department of Political Affairs, and I'll check with them whether there's anything to say about this particular case.

From the January 12 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: you'd said that Vijay Nambiar had stepped down at the end of December, the office was not funded.  But, I've seen he did an interview on 8 January with a Bangladesh publication, Prothom Alo, where he said he denied that there's genocide of Rohingya and Myanmar or he said that UNHCR had said that and then taken it back.  I wanted to, I guess, ask you, in what capacity… is he speaking for the UN in any way in saying that there's no genocide in the area?

Spokesman:  No, Mr. Nambiar is speaking in his personal capacity.

   Myanmar was the quiet topic of the UN Security Council on the evening of November 17, between meetings on South Sudan and Syria chemical weapons.

 Inner City Press was informed that while the US requested the closed door briefing, the US agreed as a condition that there would be no outcome to the meeting.  And now, Myanmar is not listed in any way, even in the footnotes, of the January Program of Work of the UN Security Council, click here for that.

On November 17 the briefer was Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Myanmar as he was, disasterously, on Sri Lanka. And sources tell Inner City Press that amid the burning of Rohingyas' homes and rapes and killings in Rakhine State, Nambiar advised the Council to go easy on Myanmar and give them time. This is is disgusting, all around.  The UN has refused to provide a summary of what Nambiar said.

On January 5, Inner City Press asked holdover UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here.

Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho did mining and other business in Myanmar, after being on a “UN delegation.”


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