On Sri Lanka, As UN's
Ban Delays on Panel, Pascoe's Trip Delayed For "Goodies"
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 5 -- Two months after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
said he would form "without delay" a panel of experts to
advise him on possible war crimes in Sri Lanka, still no such panel
has been named.
In the interim, the UN has said that Under Secretary
General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe will travel to Sri Lanka.
But that has not happened or even been nailed down yet.
official told Inner City Press on May 5 that they think Sri Lanka is
putting off the trip so that they can put certain things in place and
show "goodies" to the UN. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN
Palitha Kohona continues to predict that Ban will never go forward
and name the panel. "Ask them why they would name a panel,"
Kohona has urged Inner City Press, "for anything more than
has put Kohona's question to the senior UN official, who while not
confirming that the panel idea is dead or dying, said the UN is happy
to think that improvements are being made under the shadow of a
visit. In fact, Inner City Press was told that an Austrians national
was approached about being on the panel. But two month are two
UN's Ban and Pascoe in Uzbekistan, Lankan follow
through not shown
Lanka itself, the Red Cross still does not have access to the
so-called rehabilitation centers, and there are whispers of a slew of
babies being born to women who were in government detention nine
The IMF has
delayed the next tranche of its loan, as the government has not
followed through on its commitments.
CHAP was rejected by presidential
brother Basil Rajaksa, NGOs complain. They do not complain loudly,
threatened as they are with expulsion from the country. Watch this
transcript of its April 30 noon briefing:
City Press: This is, it’s
now been seven weeks since the Secretary-General said that without
delay a panel of group of experts would be named to advise him on
accountability in Sri Lanka. It was also said that Mr. [B. Lynn]
Pascoe would be visiting the country. Has a request for Mr. Pascoe
to visit been made, and what progress, if any, has there been on
naming this group of experts?
Nesirky: A visit
by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, is
in the works and is likely to take place fairly soon. We don’t
have a date yet, but it’s in, if you like, an active planning
phase. So that’s to answer the first point. The second point: the
Secretary-General has made clear that this panel of experts will
be put together without delay, and I know that that is indeed the
case. People are working actively on putting that panel together. It is
not complete yet, and neither are the terms of reference. But
active work is being done on this and the Secretary-General is very
clear that there will be no delay. But it needs to be done properly.
Watch this site.
* * *
Sri Lanka AG Met With UN's Ban, War Crimes Panel Unnamed for Six
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 22 -- The UN's Ban Ki-moon has yet to name the panel
of experts to advise him on accountability and war crimes in Sri
Lanka which he announced six weeks ago as coming "without
To determine what happened, Inner City Press on April 22
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm Ban met with Sri
Lanka's attorney general Mohan Peiris -- which Inner City Press exclusively
reported three days ago -- and to explain the delay. Video here, at
earlier in the briefing tried to ensure that Inner City Press could
not ask more questions, said he would look into it. Later on April 22
his Office confirmed that meeting with Sri Lanka's attorney general.
He did not, however, explain the delay.
a UN reception
thrown by Israel on April 20, Ban told Sri Lanka's Ambassador Palitha
Kohona "I am not against your government," according to
sources standing next to the two. Kohona has predicted that no panel
will ever be named, quipping that the UN should instead investigate
the Vatican for pedophilia.
UN's Ban and NAMbiar, six week delay on panel not
Kohona to his credit is one of the more
candid UN ambassador. Inner City Press has committed to try to write
a non-conflict story, perhaps about the government's Memoranda of
Understanding with non-governmental organizations.
Kohona's honesties, reflecting the combativenature of his government,
was his statement this week that Sri Lanka advocated against Ban
Ki-moon's $3 million grant through the UN Peacebuilding Fund, which
Kohona said went to UNDP. But UNDP still took it -- typical UN system
arrogance, going for the money (but weak on human rights).
official indicated to Inner City Press on April 22 not to expect any
movement on Ban's six week old commitment to name a panel on war
crimes on Sri Lanka, even just to advice him (Ban). But how can he
back out of this? Watch this site.