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

After Sri Lanka Bombings US Raised Travel Advisory To Reconsider LKA Said No Immunity As UNSG Guterres Continues Failing

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT Lanka

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 25 – In Sri Lanka churches and hotels were bombed on Easter Sunday. The death toll rose to 290 including more than thirty non-Sri Lankans or foreigners, according to Minister Harsha de Silva. Sri Lanka's national hospital spokesperson said nationalities of those killed include the UK, China, India, Denmark, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco and Americans including fifth grade student Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa and Dieter Kowalski from Denver.

  Now in late May Sri Lankan media reports that "Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana had informed the US Government that Sri  Lanka was no longer agreeable to grant legal immunity to American military personnel under the new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday.   He said this in response to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake during an adjournment debate in the House last evening.    “Minister Marapana has informed of Sri Lanka’s stance on SOFA during talks he has had with the US authorities. Legal immunity was granted to the US when SOFA was initially inked with America in 1995. This continued throughout the Rajapaksa administration,” he said.    Referring to the question raised by MP Ratnayake on the Acquisition and Cross Agreement (ACSA), he said the agreement had nothing to do with the military. “It is only about providing logistic services to the US. ACSA was originally signed in 2007 during the time of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However, the new agreement does not stipulate a specific period like the previous one. The government should not allow any foreign force to occupy Sri Lanka. It should understand that creating unrest in the country is a tactic followed by Western nations to get its security forces into Lankan soil. The US has informed its diplomats to use the post-ISIS attack atmosphere to convince respective governments to allow the US forces into their soil,” he said.  Citing examples such as Syria, he said the US used ISIS to interfere in Sri Lankan affairs and that several politicians, businessmen and even media outlets used communalism to fulfill their vested interests." To the right of the Rajapaksa's, then...

On April 26 while UNSG Guterres continued inaction with praising China which is taking over a Sri Lankan port, the U.S. State Department raised its Travel Advisory level for Sri Lanka to Three, Reconsider Travel "due to terrorism.   On April 26, 2019, the Department of State ordered the departure of all school-age family members of U.S. government employees in Kindergarten through 12th grade.  The Department also authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.  Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Sri Lanka due to the security environment." The Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism said UK, US, Belgium and, again, China. The Foreign Ministry added nationals of India and Turkey, here. (Al Jazeera put on a Mahinda Rajaksa ally Rajiva Wijesinha to praise the Rajapaksas' bloodbath in 2009; AJE is Guterres' favored media in the UN with two large offices and spoonfed "news.") The Tamil Guardian earlier said these included two Americans, two Dutch, two UK and one Portuguese citizens. The buildings targeted included churches (Kochikade, St Sebastian and Batticaloa) and hotels (Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury). On April 22, a van parked near St Anthony's church in Colombo in exploded while bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it. Still no statement from the UN Security Council, presided over this month by Germany and France, neither of whose UN Missions did anything about Guterres' now 292 day banishment of the Press which covers Sri Lanka. Amid the many expressions of sympathy and calls for calm, from the UN which has so badly failed Sri Lanka, there were more than twelve hours of the silence that has become even more characteristic under Antonio Guterres. Heavy sleeper? On April 22 the UN Security Council issued a statement, below. Guterres' Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake who has an MOU with Saudi Prince MBS belatedly expressed concern from an unspecified "faraway airport" (followed by a video saying that 2008-9 was only about suicide bombings and not Sri Lanka army abuses and calling on "her" people to defer now to the authorities); Guterres' Deputy Amina J. Mohammed retweeted her message "to her fellow Sri Lankans," just as her pro-Buhari and pro-Biya views are used by Guterres on anything related to Nigeria or Cameroon. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric retweeted it still without saying where Guterres has been for the past two days. On April 22 at 9 am Inner City Press in writing asked Dujarric, and Guterres, Mohammed and Alison Smale: "April 22-2: Please immediately state where SG Guterres' Youth Envoy is, on what mission, and whether a statement explicit as a Sri Lankan, saying that 2009 was only about suicide bombs (and not the government's bloodbath on the beach) is appropriate and supported by the SG. Also, what is the status of the UN's MOU with Saudi Prince MBS's MiSK Foundation?" Ten hours later as of this publication, no answer at all. Corrupt. The Sri Lanka government, which turned off Facebook, WhatsAp and other social media platforms, has named National Thowfeek Jamaath (NTJ). After more than 12 hours, still without even saying where Guterres IS, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric put this out, concluding: "The Secretary-General reiterates the support and solidarity of the United Nations with the people and the Government of Sri Lanka in this difficult moment for the nation." Reiterating the UN's support for the bloodbath in 2009 and Guterres' Singer smiling with Rajapaksa since. Perhaps the UN Security Council, chaired this month by Germany along with France, will now speak. During the killings in 2008 and 2009 the UN Security Council did not hold a single formal meeting about Sri Lanka, as Inner City Press reported before being targeted by the UN and roughed up and banned under Guterres. On April 22, the UNSC issued this, which we publish in full: "The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the series of heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks that took place at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s in Negambo, Zion Church in Batticaloa, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo as well as three explosions across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019, which resulted in nearly 300 killed and hundreds more wounded.  The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Sri Lanka and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.  The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.  The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Sri Lanka and all other relevant authorities in this regard.  The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.  They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts." On April 18, Inner City Press asked Guterres and his two spokesmen in writing, "April 18-3:  On Sri Lanka, please immediately provide the UN's read out of yesterday's SG meeting and separately confirm or deny this Sri Lankan government account: "UN Secretary-General António Guterres has offered support for Sri Lanka's reconciliation efforts.  Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera who is in New York to represent Sri Lanka at the Financing for Development Forum of the UN Economic and Social Council called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  At the meeting, the Secretary-General recalled his visits to Sri Lanka in the past including his first visit in 1978.  Stating that he was impressed by the peaceful resolution of the recent political crisis in Sri Lanka." The only response has been this: "I am on leave and will return on Monday, 31 December.  Please call the spokesperson's office at 212-963-7160 for assistance.  Thank you -- Farhan Haq." From lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who has written dismissively of the Sri Lanka (and Burundi and Cameroon and Haiti) coverage of Inner City Press to those who has asked him in writing why he banned Inner City Press from his briefing and from the UN for 290 days, nothing at all, despite a previous on camera promise to answer questions. Finally, after even New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio had reacted, this from Guterres, location still undisclosed. We'll have more on all this. Once Mahinda Rajapaksa who oversaw the 2009 war crimes dubbed the bloodbath on the beach on October 26 was named the country's prime minster 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. Jump cut to 2019 and there's this footage of a non violent protest by Puttalam villagers protesting against a proposed garbage landfill in Aruwakkalu being cracked down on by police - typically, the UN has said nothing.  Hanaa Singer Guterres' resident coordinator, the replacement of 27 of whom he refuses to answer on even on how much it costs the public, has grinned and met with Rajapaksa, a war crimes suspect, with this read out: "The UN resident coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer, paid a courtesy call to the Leader of the Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa last evening (03).    Singer stated that she is a strong believer of south-north cooperation and said that Sri Lanka would be a great role model as she has set a great example in achieving the SDGs set out by the UN.   They also discussed the current political environment of Sri Lanka. The postponement of the provincial council elections for over a year was pointed out by the Leader of the Opposition. He mentioned that the government seemed to have no intention of holding the long-overdue elections.   Singer asked the Leader of the Opposition regarding his vision for the future of Sri Lanka, to which he responded that two key issues that needed immediate attention would be the economy and reconciliation. He was of the view that with discipline and leadership a suitable solution could be found for both issues." And Guterres looks on, a corrupt censor. Guterres is killing what remains of the UN's credibility. On March 22 Inner City Press had asked Guterres, Amina J. Mohammed, Alison Smale and spokesman Farhan Haq and others "March 22-2: On Sri Lanka, what is the SG's comment and action on that the final text of the HRC resolution failed to address Sri Lanka’s failure to meet its commitments to date. Despite the pledges made in Resolution 30/1, there continues to be impunity for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The absence of accountability and the slow progress on other fronts has disillusioned many victims’ groups and eroded hopes for the transitional justice process. What does this say about the UN system and accountability - and credibility?" No answer for days now - in fact, on March 22 Guterres was misusing his security and even the NYPD to target Inner City Press to be held back unlike others. Now Guterres' pick for human rights commissioner Michele Bachelet is virtue signaling about Sri Lanka - when she has done nothing at all about Guterres' destruction of human rights in the UN system, his throwing of envoy Haysom under the bus in Somalia for raising human rights issues, his roughing up and banning of the Press from entering the UN, even for Bachelet's dubious events. But here's what Bachelet has sputtered about Sri Lanka: "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said Wednesday that a newspaper article quoting a senior Sri Lankan official “seriously misrepresents” her discussion of the recent UN Human Rights Office report1 on Sri Lanka with a Government delegation attending the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 20.     Monday’s article in Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper cited a member of the Government delegation, Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghaven, claiming the High Commissioner “admitted that certain facts incorporated in the UNHRC report against Sri Lanka could not be condoned whatsoever.” It also said he claimed she had advised two of her senior officials who attended the meeting “to be more responsible and cautious hereafter.”     “Neither of these claims are true,” Bachelet said. “Either the newspaper misunderstood the Governor, or the Governor misunderstood – or misquoted – me.” The High Commissioner said she stands fully behind the report and the oral statement2 she made when presenting it to the Human Rights Council, and that she believes it fairly and objectively reflects the situation in Sri Lanka.     “I am deeply disappointed by the spin that has been put on my discussion with the Sri Lankan Government delegation,” she said, noting that other news outlets in Sri Lanka were also continuing to significantly misrepresent the Human Rights Council process in Geneva." Bachelet's complaints against this media would be more credible if she raised a finger to defend the rights of the press to cover the UN even if her boss Guterres doesn't like it. We'll have more on this. Shavendra Silva, who despite his UN documented role in the killings in 2008 and 2009 was allowed for a time to advise the UN Secretary General on Peacekeeping and host a movie screening with the pro-Guterres correspondents group, has been named Army Chief of Staff. On January 29 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?" With no answer for a week, on the the morning of February 7 Inner City Press asked the same group: "February 7-3: On Sri Lanka and the death penalty what is the SG's comment and action on President Sirisena saying that starting in 3 months drug dealers will be executed by hanging." No answer to that. Instead, at the February 7 noon briefing before setting off on a junket with Guterres, 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, on the eve of Guterres showing up in Geneva to claim commitment to press freedom and human rights: "a letter sent to UN High-commissioner for Human rights by this group stated that:  “We want to bring to your attention that some of the current Tamil Members of Parliament - who have access to international diplomatic community - don’t speak for Tamil victims like us. They got elected on the promise that they will get justice for victims like us. But now they are protecting the Sri Lankan Government from facing international justice.”  “Many of us personally and voluntarily handed-over many of our family members, including Babies and Children, to the Sri Lankan Security forces at the end of the war in May 2019 in reliance on assurances that they would be safe. But almost ten years have passed, but there is no answer from the Government about those we surrendered and they all remain disappeared.”  “Even though the war has ended about ten years ago, Tamils are still waiting for justice for the mass atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan Government. According to UN and other international organizations tens of thousands of Tamils were killed, disappeared and numerous Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by the Sri Lankan Security Forces, in the final six months of the war that ended in May 2009.”  “UN Human Rights Council passed two Resolutions on abuses committed against Tamil people including about the disappeared. Sri Lanka voluntarily co-sponsored Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and 34/1 and assured to the UN body, that they will fulfill the requirements of the Resolution.  But two year extension has passed but Sri Lanka did not fulfill its promise and voluntary commitment to the UNHRC." We'll have more on this -- 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