Sri Lanka War Crimes Is Fake Carried Into Empty Building by UN
Staffer, Nambiar Stonewalls
May 18 -- On the second anniversary of the bloody end of the
conflict in Sri Lanka, outside the UN in New York chants of “UN,
UN, Never again” and “Ban Ki-moon, Act Now” echoed off the
white metal building where Secretary General Ban's office now is.
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if the UN's envoy to Sri Lanka
Vijay Nambiar would be willing to answer some questions, about his
role in the final stage of the conflict, watching Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle footage and telling surrenderees to come out with white
flags, whereupon they were killed.
replied, Nambiar would not be taking questions from the press, even
after he spoke to the Security Council the next day.
Hammarskjold Park when Inner City Press went out into the rain after
this inter-change to cover the protest, the name of Nambiar came up.
Leaders of the demonstration said the UN had promised to at least
send an official to meet them inside and accept a petition from them.
The UN had asked, they said, that there be no press coverage.
Inner City Press did not stand with them in the lobby of the General
Assembly as the time for the meeting or encounter came and went.
Inner City Press was speaking with another journalist, about another
topic, when a staffer of the UN Department of Political Affairs
working under Tamrat Samuel belatedly met the Tamil group.
did not interrupt the brief exchange, but did take a picture of the
petition being handed over. [Later, the UN requested that even a
photograph not be published. Hence this:]
In UN lobby
May 18, '11 waiting for next UN assistant (c) MRLee
the UN staffer walked not
toward the North Lawn building with Ban's office in it, but rather
into the General Assembly, toward the entirely closed Secretariat
City Press followed and watched as the staffer looked behind him,
stopped then reversed his steps. He had walked purposefully toward a
dead end to give the impression of resolve. But with the Tamils
having left the General Assembly building, he walked again the length
of the lobby and toward the North Lawn building.
followed him and asked, what will happen with the petition? He
shrugged, “can't really say.”
staffers have been telling Inner City Press that Ban would do
“something” about the UN Panel of Experts report alleging tens of
thousands of civilians killed, Inner City Press asked what to expect.
Again, there was no answer.
told him it was Ban or Nambiar, really, who should be answering press
questions. This seems undeniable. But Ban has not held a press
conference in months, and is heading out of New York again, first to
sign out on Dag
Hammaskjold Plaza read, "UN: Libya - yes! Ivory Coast - Yes! Why not
Sri Lanka?" Why
not indeed. Watch this site.
* * *
on Sri Lanka, Weerawansa Speaks of Buddha, Silva of Love, Ban Has No
May 16 -- Relations between the UN and Sri Lanka took a
surreal turn on May 16 when the minister who organized a blockade of
the UN in Colombo last year Wimal Weerawansa appeared in the General
Assembly, shaking hands with UN Under Secretary General Kiyotaka
Akasaka and others.
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky refused to confirm,
much less comment on, Weerawansa's speech at a meeting on Buddhism in
Ban's presence, Inner City Press managed to speak with Weerawansa
later in the day.
Silva, a Sri Lankan General who is now its Deputy Permanent
Representative doing the translating, Inner City Press asked
Weerawansa to contrast his visit to the UN with his calls to replace
it, his organization of a blockade and so-called fasting unto death.
Silva relayed “He says we are a member state of the United Nations,
and he can here to attend the 2,600 year anniversary of the Buddha's
enlightenment. He's happy he attended the 2,600 year celebration
herein New York.”
At UN May 16: Silva, Weerawansa, Kohona, Ban
Ki-moon not shown (c) MRLee
shown Inner City Press a copy of his book, which begins with a quote
that “anger can't be overcome by anger, because it has no end in
itself - it can only be overcome by compassionate loving kindness.”
photographs by Helen Bohn Andersen. Inner City Press ask her about
the irony of co-authoring a book with a general in charge in a
military action that reportedly killed tens of thousands of
civilians. “I didn't write the text,” she said. “I only took
is from the
UN's May 16 noon briefing transcript:
Press: at this meeting on Buddhism this morning, Wimal
Weerawansa, it’s reported, it’s under the Colombo page, that the
Minister of the Sri Lankan Government who led the protest against the
UN compound in Colombo was present here. I don’t know if it’s
true or not, I just know it’s reported in the press there. Is that
the case, is the UN aware of Wimal Weerawansa, and what do you say
And what would be your problem if that person was there?
Press: No, I want to know, did Ban Ki-moon meet with Wimal
Weerawansa, and if so, would you have any…?
I have no idea. As you would have also seen if you went
there, there was a lot of people and I do not know. I suspect that
the Secretary-General moved on to other appointments without working
his way around the room, Matthew.
Press: No, my point is the UN accredits people to come into the
building. Since this is an individual that the UN condemns his
organization of a blockade of UN staff in Colombo…
Well, as we’ve said before, peaceful demonstrations are
legitimate. Where someone has crossed the threshold and the
authorities have taken action against them, that would be a different
matter. But peaceful demonstrations are not against the law.
Didn’t you condemn the Wimal Weerawansa sponsored demonstrations
at the time?
The point I am trying to make is that if people are demonstrating,
they are legally entitled to demonstrate, and the demonstrations are
peaceful, then they are legitimately entitled to do that. If I have
any information about this person’s presence, and as you yourself
said, you don’t know for a fact that that person was there. But
you’ve seen reports.
These are reports I am asking you to check with DSS [Department of
Safety and Security] whether a pass was granted for Wimal
Yes, yes, Matthew, I hear, and as your dutiful servant, I will take
a look and find out, okay?
Nesirky never provided any answer, even nine hours later.
Lanka's Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona was also on the scene,
insisting that Inner City Press take a picture with Weerawansa. Inner
City Press obliged. We'll see.