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As India's Krishna Pitches UN Council Membership, Discussions of Nambiars

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 10 -- Alongside the UN Security Council's debate Friday about security and development, the foreign ministers of India and Brazil, Japan and Germany are getting together to try to push for permanent seats on the Council.

Thursday night high in the New York Palace Hotel, India's Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri told Inner City Press among other news that he counted 120 countries as supporting India for a permanent seat. He derided the so-called United For Consensus grouping, saying he counted only six seats, and not the 15 sometimes claimed.

India's external affairs minister S.M. Krishma arrived earlier Thursday in New York, and after a 45 minute break went to a meeting of the L-69 group. There, Jamaica's Permanent Representative told those assembled that they shouldn't accept permanent seats without the veto power, so as to not accept second class citizenship.

  Jamaica led opposition to the European Union's drive for special rights, or citizenship, in the General Assembly last year.

  Hardeep Singh Puri described his Minister Krishna's program for February 11, including a speech in the Security Council, a lunch along with many others with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a meeting and then press availability with G-4 foreign ministers, and then an IPSA dinner.

Krishna (and Singhs) with Ban, previously, this time not shown

  Inner City Press had asked about the treatment of Indian students at the closed down Tri Valley University in California. Hardeen Singh Puri said that India's consul general from San Francisco is coming to New York Saturday to meet with Krishna, along with the country's ambassador to Washington.

  Indian journalists in attendance told Inner City Press that the Tri Valley University situation is being resolved, with “ankle bracelets being removed from some Indian students.” They also opined on India's highest official in the UN system Vijay Nambiar, and his general brother Satish Nambiar, who praised Sri Lanka's assault on Tamil areas in 2009. Of the Tamil fishermen from India being killed by Sri Lanka, nothing has yet been said. Watch this site.

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On  Indian Minister Krishna Hits NY on UN Seat, Not Veto or Student Surveillance

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 9 -- With Indian External Affairs minister S.M. Krishna coming to New York for a day and a half, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri briefed the Press on his minister's program, with a heavy emphasis on UN Security Council reform.

  Surprisingly, Krishna has no meeting scheduled with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, nor with any US official to discuss the the situation, including ankle bracelets, facing Indian students from the closed down Tri Valley University, an issue Krishna has said he will pursue with the US.

  Rather, Krishna will meet with fellow “G4” foreign ministers of Brazil, Japan and Germany, in town for a Security Council debate sponsored by Brazil on security and development. The four have scheduled a short press availability for Friday after the Security Council meeting.

  Hardeep Singh Puri continues to predict Security Council reform, or a vote, by early 2012. Wednesday he said that the question of having veto power could be deferred until after new permanent seats were given out, arguing that the veto is so infrequently used now it may not be important.

Inner City Press asked him if the lack of the veto being used is a product of proposals that would be vetoed not coming up for a vote, like the resolution on Israeli settlements. Hardeep Singh Puri replied that this resolution may well come up for a vote.

Having been told by African members of the Security Council that a move is coming soon to ask the Council to vote to suspend the International Criminal Court prosecution of Sudanese president Omar al Bashir for genocide and war crimes in Darfur, Inner City Press asked Hardeep Singh Puri if he thought such a resolution would be vetoed.

That hasn't come up yet, he replied. UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, when Inner City Press asked him earlier on Wednesday for the UK's position on such a proposal also declined to comment.

UN's Ban and Krishna in past: not repeated this time?

   Inner City Press and then an Indian television station asked Hardeep Singh Puri about Tri Valley University, whose students are now subject to ankle bracelet monitoring pending being thrown out of the country, their student visas revoked.

  Hardeep Singh Puri said Krishna might meet with some of the students. While despite his candor he didn't say it, Krishna would not be able even to meet with US Permanent Representative Susan Rice: she's left for the West Coast to give a speech, and won't be in the UN on Friday for the ministerial thematic debate.
   After the session at the Indian Mission, Inner City Press was jovially chided for raising questions beyond the UN. How about Sri Lanka's killing of Tamil fishermen, then? And on the UN beat, what about India's chairmanship of the Somalia sanctions committee, in light of reports of mercenaries there? Watch this site.

 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.

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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

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