Inner City Press

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

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

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
 More: InnerCityPro

MRL on Patreon

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 Shavendra Silva as Army Commander Inner City Press Asked Guterres Now His Fleming Too

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT Lanka

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 19 – Shavendra Silva who play an oversized role in the 2009 Sri Lanka war crimes dubbed the bloodbath on the beach has now been named Commander of the Army by Sirisena whom UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has praised, Guterres was very slow in making any comment, despite or continuing the UN's shameful history on Sri Lanka including pulling out and allowing and covering up the slaughter in 2008 and 2009.

  Guterres, now missing for 17 days on an unexplained vacation with his spokesmen refusing to answer any questions from Inner City Press which they have banned for 411 days, even on rapes by UN Peacekeeping. Silva was allowed for a time to advise the UN Secretary General on Peacekeeping and to  host a movie screening with the pro-Guterres correspondents group. Earlier this year Inner City Press asked Guterres, Alison Smale, Amina J. Mohammed and spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "January 29-3: On Sri Lanka, given the newly assembled evidence regarding Shavendra Silva, formerly UN Peacekeeping adviser now Sri Lanka Army Chief of Staff, how can the SG and USG Lacroix continue to deploy Silva's troops as peacekeepers? What vetting is taking place? What is the SG's and USG's comment and action on this individual as chief of staff of an army the UN has been taking troops from?" There was no answer then; now the question has been submitted to a wider UN group including Guterres' Global Communicator Melissa Fleming. Watch this site, and see ITJP's dossier.

  Back on February 7 Dujarric read out a statement including: "I’ve been asked about recent statements made in Sri Lanka regarding UN peacekeeping... Sri Lanka is a very important contributor to UN peacekeeping... The aim is to ensure rapid deployment of Sri Lankan peacekeepers to the field." It is ever. No one allowed in to the briefing asked any follow up. Now this, from Sri Lanka: "President Sirisena claimed that the HRCSL was delaying Sri Lanka’s police and armed forces from taking part in UN peacekeeping missions. He blamed the commission for the death of two army personnel in Mali, saying they were due to return to the country six months ago.  “The Human Rights Commission will not allow us to change the groups by finding background details of the servicemen,” he said. “The HRCSL objects to sending our servicemen based on its investigation’s results. If the HRCSL did not bother us and allowed to proceed with the exchange, we could have easily avoided the death of the Major and the Private".... An “urgent list” identified by the UN is being tackled first... The teams currently being vetted will go to South Sudan." So under Guterres even though an accused war criminal is now the chief of army staff in Sri Lanka the UN is seeking to ramp up its use of his soldiers, to South Sudan -- where the UN already kills civilians - Lebanon and Mali.  Guterres is silent; his fig-leafed acceptance of implicated Sri Lankan soldiers as peacekeepers will foreseeably continue - and it has, through February 7 and counting. Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric have refused to answer any of the written questions of Inner City Press whom they had roughed up and banned amid its Sri Lanka and human rights questions. Now ITJP has said, "the United Nations cannot in good conscience continue to deploy peacekeepers from an Army headed by a man who allegedly repeatedly and knowingly committed war crimes against hundreds of thousands of civilians. Major General Silva of course is not alone in being promoted post-War – there is a pattern of rewarding, honouring and promoting alleged perpetrators, deploying them in prestigious UN jobs, as diplomats and in the former conflict areas to administer the very people they defeated. This is a text book case of impunity.  4 CAREER 1.1. SRI LANKAN ARMY Major General Shavendra Silva commanded the 58 Division during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s Civil War2 . He reported to General Jagath Jayasuriya, the Vanni Security Force Head Quarters (SFHQ) Commander. One report said Shavendra Silva in early 2009 had 22 battalions under his command as opposed to the usual 9 in a Division3 ”. He is currently the Colonel of the Gajaba Regiment and has remained loyal to the former Defence Secretary and President’s brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after the War4 . He was promoted to Adjutant General of the Sri Lankan Army in 2017 by the Sirisena Government. In 2019, he was appointed Army Chief of Staff5 . 22 Jun 1964: Date of Birth. 5 Mar 1984: Joined Sri Lankan Army, aged 20. 1987: Head of the Presidential Security Army Unit. 1992: 2nd in Command of 8th Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment in Mannar. 1998-90: His unit was based in Elephant Pass. 1995-6: (22 Aug 1995 - 1 Jan 19966 ) Commanding Officer, 8th Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment. 2008-9: In the Vanni as Task Force 1 Commander, then 58 Division Commander. Commanded the Air Mobile Brigade Jan–Sep 2010: Commander of the Commando Regiment. Jul 2010: Promoted as the youngest Major General in the Sri Lankan Army and became the Operations Director7 . 2 para 116, OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL), Sep 2015, A/HRC/30/CRP.2. 3 “In early 2009, Brig. Shavendra Silva had about 22 battalions under his command, though an infantry Division comprised three brigades each consisting of three battalions”. P’karan suffers irrevocable loss at Anandapuram, 11 Dec 2012, The Island, 4 4 “Many felt that the Defence Secretary, himself a one-time commanding officer of the first battalion of the Gajaba Regiment, too, was supportive of Brig. Silva.” 5 President receives list of nominees for Army’s CDS position, Sri Lanka Mirror, 1 Jan 2019, 6 7 Major General takes over as the deputy head of the Sri Lanka's UN Mission, 18 Oct 2010, JDS Lanka, 5 2010-2015: Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, a position that afforded him diplomatic immunity from a prosecution attempt made against him for alleged war crimes8 . 2010-2015 Alternative Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee 9. 2011: Speaks (on video) to disparage British citizen, Vani Kumar, and Sri Lankan Government doctor, Dr. Varatharajah, who appeared in the Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka10. 2015: Attended a 47-week course in National Security and Strategic Studies, Delhi11. 2017: Promoted by President Sirisena to Adjutant General of the Sri Lankan Army. Mar 2017: The Mullaitivu court refuses to call Shavendra Silva to testify in a mass-enforced disappearance case12. May 2018: Silva is awarded another medal on the anniversary of the War end13. He oversees War Anniversary celebrations14. 2018: Involved in running military garment factory, “Ranaviru Apparel”15. 9 Jan 2019: Appointed Chief of Army Staff16 21 Jun 2019: Due to retire." We'll have more on this.  US Rep Eliot Engel who district includes portions of The Bronx has said online @HouseForeign, "I’m concerned over the appointment of Shavendra Silva, named by the UN as playing a major role in orchestrating war crimes, as Sri Lanka’s Army Chief of Staff. This could have ramifications for U.S.-Sri Lanka defense cooperation. Appointing someone the UN believes is a war criminal to serve as Chief of Army staff is how not to demonstrate your sincerity in holding war criminals accountable." But what does today's UN believe? The finding on Silva was under Ban Ki-moon. At today's UN, Guterres and his spokesmen are refusing to answer the written Sri Lanka questions of Inner City Press, which Guterres has had physically banned from the UN hindering coverage of for example China Energy Fund Committee bribery. On the morning of December 18 Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "December 18-1: On Sri Lanka, what is the SG's comment and action now that President Maithripala Sirisena accused newly reappointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of corrupt leadership in a scathing speech in which he voiced doubts about their ability to work together and signaled the two-month-long political crisis is far from resolved?" Two days later, no answer to this or any other Inner City Press question. Instead, Dujarric waited until the December 20 noon briefing to read this out: "The Secretary-General welcomes the resolution of the political crisis in Sri Lanka through peaceful, constitutional means, and applauds the resilience of the country’s democratic institutions.
The Secretary-General calls on all political actors to seize the opportunity of the appointment of the new cabinet to resolve outstanding political differences in the same spirit of respect for democracy and in the interest of the people of Sri Lanka." Dujarric has tried to spin supporters of Inner City Press, at least those in Europe, that even while censoring he respects Inner City Press keeping the Sri Lanka issue alive in the UN briefing room. No, he doesn't. No answers on Sri Lanka in weeks, even as Sri Lanka media report a disorganized visit by Mari Yamashita Asia Pacific regional director of the UN Department of Political Affairs whose director Rosemary DiCarlo's chief of staff handed the Departments website(s) to her photographer husband, still being covered up. Guterres and the above named enablers are killing the UN. And what are they accomplishing on Sri Lanka? What are they even trying? Inner City Press will continue to asked - and to report.
On November 14, Inner City Press asked the UN in writing: "November 14-1: On Sri Lanka, what is the SG's comment and action on that “Sri Lanka’s parliament passed a no-confidence motion against newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday, presenting a standoff with the opposition and throwing the country deeper into turmoil. Deputies from Rajapaksa’s party rejected the voice vote as illegal”? On November 15, with lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric back from a week long junket to Japan with no transcript, his deputy Farhan Haq sent this: "On question Nov 14-1, we can say the following: We reiterate that following democratic processes remains the only viable way of resolving disagreements in a peaceful manner and maintaining the confidence of Sri Lankan people in the rule of law and institutions.  We will continue to follow the developments in Sri Lanka closely." We publish it in full, immediately after receipt. Even Guterres' earlier phone call was portrayed as productive by Sirisena, with no response from Guterres. Inner City Press which has been banned from the UN for 134 days and counting, which even Ban Ki-moon didn't do, has been asking Guterres spokesmen about Sri Lanka where Sirisena has now dissolved parliament, not even reconvening it on November 14. While delaying answer Inner City Press' questions on Sri Lanka - on which spokesman Dujarric disingenuously spins critics that he respects Inner City Press' coverage of - Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said - video here after much delay -- "we have been informed of the latest developments.  We certainly hope that the regular constitutional procedures will be followed, and we'll keep monitoring the situation to see what happens after that." Regular constitutional procedures?

Now more than a day later - a day late and a dollar short, as they say - this from Guterres via deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, who did not answer a single one of Inner City Press' more than ten questions on November 8 and 9 despite USG Alison Smale's promise to UNSR David Kaye that questions will be answered, this: "The Secretary-General learned with concern of President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve Sri Lanka's parliament and move to new parliamentary elections on 5 January 2019.
The Secretary-General underlines the utmost importance of respecting democratic processes and institutions and resolving differences in accordance with the rule of law and due process. He renews his call on the Government to ensure peace and safety for all Sri Lankans and uphold its commitments to human rights, justice and reconciliation.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, New York, 10 November 2018." Where is Dujarric, who responded to criticism of ban of Inner City Press with lies but also an admission that Inner City Press alone kept in focus at the UN briefing Sri Lanka as well as Haiti, Burundi and the UN Budget Committee? Now he has banned Inner City Press questions from the noon briefing for 129 days and counting.  Guterres is failing on Sri Lanka - and he is poised to raise money on December 5 for a committee headed by the former landlord of Rajapaksa's ambassador Palitha Kahona, Giampaolo Pioli, who despite or because of this connection held a "UN screening" of Rajapaksa's war crimes denial film "Lies Agreed To" in the the UN Dag Hammasarkjold Library under the banner of the UN Correspondents Alliance. But now Sirisena has given his read out of the call, characterizing it as very positive for the "new government." And now Kohona, UN Censorship Alliance bigwig Pioli's former tenant, has gone public in favor of the coup, and China, seemingly like Guterres who has yet to even audit China Energy Fund Committee's bribery in the UN: "trumpeting the dangers posed by Rajapaksa, allegedly an ally of China. He has also been described as authoritarian and poer hungry. This may have gone down well with certain sections of the Indian establishment but not necessarily with the vast majority of Sri Lankans who entertain historical sympathies for China. While it is true that Rajapaksa obtained significant loans from China to fund development projects, to characterise him as pro China is a convenient excuse for not understanding him well or simply succumbing to assessments provided by Ranil and the NGO community."  And, “I had a very successful telephone conversation with the UN Secretary General António Guterres last evening. I assured him that the appointment of the new Prime Minister has been done in keeping with the Constitution of Sri Lanka,” President Sirisena tweeted after his phone conversation.
He had met the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer, the previous day and apprised her of the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka." Singer sings the praises of Sirisena. On October 31, as Guterres was trying to get Inner City Press thrown out of Park East Synagogue before his speech, Inner City Press sent his spokesmen questions including "October 31-4: On Sri Lanka, what is the SG's comment and action on that “Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has written to President urging him to reconvene Parliament immediately. In a letter to the President, Jayasuriya said that he has received a request from 125 Parliamentarians to reconvene Parliament. He said that the political instability in the country can be resolved only by reconvening Parliament”? While ignoring the other questions including about Guterres' attempted censorship at the synagogue, his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq past 1 pm on November 2 sent this canned readout to Inner City Press: "On your question October 29-1, we have the following:  The Secretary-General spoke by telephone with H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, on 1 November. The Secretary-General informed the President that he was following the latest developments in Sri Lanka with concern and offered assistance in facilitating a dialogue with all the parties to resolve the situation. He emphasized the Government’s responsibility to ensure peace, security and respect for the rule of law. The Secretary-General urged the President to revert to Parliamentary procedures and allow the Parliament to vote as soon as possible. He encouraged the Government to uphold its earlier commitments to human rights, justice and reconciliation, in line with Human Rights Council resolutions." In Sri Lanka it was reported that on the afternoon of October 29 "US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, and a Special Envoy to the United Nations will meet with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at Parliament at 3pm and 3.30pm respectively, the Speaker's Office confirmed." Inner City Press asked Guterres Spokesman Stephane Dujarric in writing, "please immediately deny or confirm if there is a UN Special Envoy meeting the Parliament speaker, if confirm state who she or he is, with whom including which states the SG consulted, if he has raised the crisis to the UNSC and if not, why not, and last week's UNanswered question on the harassed Tamil journalist(s)." The journalist harassment question was not answered - of course not - but this came: "On question 29-1, the Resident Coordinator met with the Speaker of Parliament and conveyed the importance of respecting democratic values and constitutional provisions and the process, upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety and security of all Sri Lankans." An attempt to look up the UN Resident Coordinator on UNDP Sri Lanka's "About Us - Our Team" page found only Latin filler or nonsense, photo here ("Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet," etc.) Typical information dead-zone from the UN, which refuses to answer Inner City Press' questions for days despite a claimed commitment this would happen from Guterres' Under Secretary General Alison Smale to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye. There was an ascerbic answer on October 30. Inner City Press asked, "
October 30-2: On Sri Lanka, please state the name of the UN Resident Coordinator who met the Parliament speaker yesterday, and explain why the UN Team website for country, rather than having this name, has Latin nonsense filler." This was the only one of Inner City Press' five new questions on the day that Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq responded to: "On question 30-2, RC Hanaa Singer’s name is clearly on the country team website." But they still didn't fix the "Our Team" site -they took down the Latin (guilty knowledge, mens rea) but now it is simply blank. The RC is Hanaa Singer, from Egypt, and her Tweets gush about Sirisena, nothing on the coup. This is Guterres' "reformed" UN system. Who might this UN Special Envoy have been, if Guterres had actually done something? Previously the UN sent Vijay Nambiar, who participated in a murky way in the White Flag killings. We'll have more on this. In New York, Giampaolo Pioli is the Chair of the 2018 UNCA Awards honoring Antonio Guterres, who has since similarly sold out civilians in Anglophone Cameroon, at Cipriani's in a former bank on 42nd Street. The "insider" tickets are $100 but for corporations, including in the past UN briber Ng Lap Seng, much more. Now the new face of UNCA Sherwin Bryce Pease is trying to erase this history with belated re-tweets of Guterres' belated lame comments on Sri Lanka, after giving him and USG Alison Smale their weak green light to rough up and ban the Press which asks about the slaughter of the Tamils and Cameroon's Anglophones and the UN's failure. This is the UN Censorship Alliance: not only silent on but fully behind the roughing up and placing on a secret permanently banned from the UN list the Press which asking about Sri Lanka, Cameroon, and Guterres' use of public funds and failure to edit the UN bribery cases. This has given rise to question from the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye, here - but nothing from this UNCA, now the UN Censorship Alliance. Their Executive Committee members include but are not limited to Valeria Robecco, ANSA News Agency, Melissa Kent, CBC/Radio-Canada, Jianguo Ma, Xinhua News Agency, Carole Landry, Agence France Presse, Seana Magee, Kyodo News, Nabil Abi Saab, Al Hurra TV, Michelle Nichols, Reuters, Luke Vargas, Talk Media News and Giampaolo Pioli, Quotidiano Nazionale, etc. We'll have more on this. Since Inner City Press which has covered the UN's failure on Sri Lanka since 2008 has, only under Guterres, been roughed up and banned, despite a dubious claim by Guterres' Under Secretary General Alison Smale to UNSR David Kaye that e-mailed questions to Spokesman Stephane Dujarric would be answered, asked this publicly: "On Sri Lanka, question by banned Inner City Press to @AntonioGuterres @StephDujarric that shouldn't even have to be asked:  where is the UNSG statement on coup & installation of war crimes accusee Gotabaya Rajapaksa as defense minister?" From the UN, nothing.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

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 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for