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Amid Ban's Duplicity, Sri Lanka Says S. Korea Supports Silva, Who's Away from UN

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, April 9 -- On Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has long tried to have it both ways. During the slaughter in April and May 2009 he refused to call for a ceasefire (unlike for example Syria now). But later after pressure he appointed a three person Panel of Expert to advise him after the fact on accountability.

  Now Ban's duplicity is ever more in focus. He refused to comment on the Asia Group nominating to his Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping its member Sri Lanka, who sent General Shavendra Silva whose 58th Division is depicted in Ban's own Panel's report as engaged in war crimes.

  Ban's appointed expert Louise Frechette, after pressure, issued a one-way press release that Silva's participation was "inappropriate." Ban did not back this up.

  On April 2, Inner City Press went to see if Silva was still attending that day's SAG meeting. A UN Security officer came to speak with Inner City Press then went inside the meeting room; he emerged to say that no one had asked that Inner City Press be removed (as Sri Lanka had during the last meeting), and so Inner City Press could stay.

Later, Ban's Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit told Inner City Press that the SAG's "organizers" -- whoever they are -- did not invite media coverage, and Inner City Press should henceforth only attend with MALU (and Ban) minders. Click here for that.

  On April 9 at an event attended by Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press sought and obtained clarification from Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN. Before the conversation was broken up -- not by Kohona -- it emerged that the only reason Silva did not attend the April 2 meeting of the SAG was that Silva was out of town.

  Tellingly, it was said that South Korea, which sponsored the event that Ban and Kohona were at, was mad at Frechette for barring Silva. So which side is Ban on? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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