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On Sri Lanka, Darusman Tells Press "It Is a UN Report," Ban Yelled at Staff

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 20 -- When Marzuki Darusman spoke to the Press at the UN on Thursday, his biography as read out by the UN did not include his recent work on Sri Lanka. Inner City Press asked him about what the Sri Lankan government has taken to calling the "Darusman report." Video here, from Minute 17:52.

  Darusman said, "it is a UN report, no less, no more," coming from a "Panel of Experts instituted by the Secretary General" Ban Ki-moon. "Therefore it can only be known as a UN report on Sri Lanka." Video here, from Minute 20:06.

  Inner City Press asked about how the report was only belated transmitted to the Human Rights Council, without much of a push by Ban for enforcement. Darusman merely said "it is now being referred to the Human Rights Council in Geneva."

  Multiple sources tell Inner City Press that when Ban, his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar and others met with Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa in September, Ban openly criticized his own UN staff in front of Rajapaksa, for failing to provide enough advance notice to the Sri Lankan Mission before the transmission to Geneva.

Darusman at UN Oct 20, Ban yelling at staff not shown (c) MRLee

  After Darusman's press conference, Inner City Press spoke with a Sri Lankan diplomat who asked to be anonymous, referred to only a "Sri Lankan" to the effect that Darusman "has a big head" and is misstating the law by calling it a UN report.

But if anything, Darusman has been too quiet. While Sri Lanka complains that on a previously panel in Sri Lanka Darusman was most interested in "getting paid," now Darusman has rebutted the marginalization of the report, affirming it as a "UN report." How about Ban Ki-moon? Watch this site.

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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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