Inner City Press

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

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

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Share |  

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

On Sri Lanka, ICP Asks of Probe Delay, UN Return With Praise of Amendment

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 25 -- The UN delayed the war crime report on Sri Lanka until September, based on the country doing its own by then. But now it won't. On June 24, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: Sri Lanka.  I wanted to get your comment on this, given the Secretary-General's historic involvement.  It's been now confirmed by the Foreign Minister there that the promised internal domestic human rights investigation into crimes in the final stages of the conflict is now not going to take place until September, and now this is being laid off on elections, due to the failure to dissolve parliament.  So, I guess, given that the Secretary-General, it seems, kind of supported the delay, what's the response?

Spokesman Dujararic:  I don't have any language on that, but I will harvest some for you.

  But the language "harvested" did not address the delay. Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq on June 25 returned with this answer to Inner City Press:

"We were also asked earlier about accountability in Sri Lanka.  I can say that the new Government in Sri Lanka has passed a constitutional amendment which, if implemented appropriately, brings renewed hope for democracy and the rule of law.  In this regard, it is important that the Government consults broadly with all political parties, civil society, and above all victims and their families, to ensure full national support and ownership of these processes.

"The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remains engaged in discussions with the Sri Lankan authorities on the need for transparent and inclusive processes to develop credible mechanisms for accountability and reconciliation."

  So delaying or even dispensing with the promised domestic war crimes investigation is now OK with Ban's UN? We'll have more on this.

Back in May, with the UN's already long delayed report into war crimes in Sri Lanka postponed until at least September, now one of those most responsible for the crimes in 2009, Jagath Dias of the 57th Division, was named Chief of Staff of the Army.

  One wondered if those recently praising the Sri Lankan government, from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit two weeks ago will say anything about this.

  On May 18, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq if Ban had any comment on Dias, named in Ban's own report on Sri Lanka, getting this post.

  Haq said to wait and see what the Human Rights Council says -- the Human Rights Council which already delayed release of their report. Video here.

  Dias was ejected from Germany and Switzerland, as a Sri Lankan diplomat, for his past.  At the UN, equally problematic military figure Shavendra Silva at a screening of the Rajapaksa government's war crimes denial film "Lies Agreed To" chided Inner City Press for attribution to him the acts of Dias' 57th Regiment.

  Now Silva is in War College in India and Dias is Army chief of staff. Will anything be said by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid, now embroiled in a scandal about OHCHR's seeming cover up for child rapes by French troops in the Central African Republic, and letting French UN Peacekeepin chief Herve Ladsous try to fire the OHCHR whistleblower? What has changed?

 Inside the UN in September 2011 the government's "Lies Agreed To" -- but NOT "No Fire Zone" -- was screened.  When Inner City Press reported on the screening, then on the background fact that the person who agreed to the screening, Giampaolo Pioli, had previously been the landlord of Palitha Kohona, who as Sri Lanka's Ambassador requested the screen in the UN hosted by the United Nations Correspondents Association, then and now headed by Pioli, demands for censorship and expulsion began.

 Unhappy with Inner City Press reporting, Pioli demanded that the story come down.

  When Inner City Press instead of censorship offered amplifications and to publish a letter to the editor of any length, Pioli rejected it and pushed to get Inner City Press thrown out. After some of this was reported in the media in Sri Lanka, and Inner City Press informed Pioli of this and of death threats it had received, Pioli refused to suspend his campaign, instead trying to use the threats as leverage to get Inner City Press to publish a "box," that he would dictate, on the front of its website.

  In this audio clip, after Inner City Press informed Pioli and other UNCA Executive Committee members that their kangaroo court proceeding had given rise to death threats, Pioli demands a "box of apology... as long as it is Inner City Press."

  This is what UNCA became, the UN's Censorship Alliance, and what it is, and functions as. Inner City Press when its elected term on the UNCA Executive Committee ended quit the group and co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access, now defending the rights of journalists from Somaliland to Bangladesh and beyond. We will have more on this.

Pioli & Ban Ki-moon, Sri Lanka war crimes denial not shown. UN Photo/Mark Garten

And it has been on HuffPost Live, here. Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

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

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

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]