Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As Sri Lanka Descends to UN Basement, Underground Envoy Talk

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, April 30 -- In the run up to the Security Council's third “informal interactive dialogue” on Sri Lanka, slated for 5 p.m. Thursday in the UN basement, sources tell Inner City Press that a move is afoot to try to formally appoint a Special Envoy to Sri Lanka. Mexico, which passes the body's Presidency to Russia on Friday, is said to be looking to cap its schizophrenic month atop the Council by finally having an outcome, or output: an envoy.

   Vijay Nambiar's trip on behalf of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is now widely viewed as a failure, even as buying more time for Colombo to continue its assault and siege on the conflict zone. Nambair, according to Ban, won a commitment by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to allow a UN humanitarian assessment team into the No Fire Zone. This commitment, if it was ever sincere, was immediately rescinded. Nambiar, a otherwise affable and approachable UN official, has yet to take a single Press question on what was in fact committed in Colombo.

Mexico's Heller and UN's Pascoe, Sri Lanka envoy not shown

   U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo did stop and speak with Inner City Press about the anticipated outcome of the upcoming basement meeting. “We would hope that the President would speak to the press again, but we'll see.” In fact, sources say that the idea of a UN envoy to Sri Lanka was - is? - an American idea, to raise the profile of the issue, opposed by the Sri Lankan government.

Wednesday, Inner City Press asked the UN's top humanitarian John Holmes, who is in charge of the UN's political strategy on Sri Lanka. Certainly not me, Holmes said. Okay then: who would make a good envoy? Realistically, who wouldn't be blocked by China or Russia? And will Mexico, mired in the Swine Flu problem, including its diplomatic aspect, be able to pull a rabbit out of its hat or sombrero on the last day of its presidency or is this just an illusion. La vida es un sueno, as the poem goes. Watch this site.

Footnote: We continue to wait for the UK's formal answer to the first of the two questions which Inner City Press asked the UK Mission to the UN two questions on Sri Lanka early on April 15:

Does the UK believe that international law and the rights of UN humanitarian staff are being violated by the now-acknowledged detention of UN staff in the Sri Lankan government's “IDP” camps?

It has been reported this morning that Sri Lanka's “minister also told the British Foreign Secretary that there was concern that the LTTE would continue to consolidate its fortification of the No-Fire Zone.” Please confirm the accuracy of that, and of this and if so, does the UK interpret it as saying that an offensive on the No-Fire Zone and the civilians in it will begin? What did the UK Foreign Secretary say?

  As of this press time two weeks later, the formal answer has been referral to Minister Miliband's April 12 statement, and this. On April 21, Inner City Press put the question to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, whose spokesman the following day cleared this response:  "UN personnel should have freedom of movement and be treated with respect." But they are still detained as of this writing. As more answers arrive or are released we will report them on 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.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -