Sri Lanka Put on Security Council Schedule, “Leak May Change
Things," Council Member Tells Inner City Press
Russell Lee, Exclusive
April 18 -- While UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sits on
the Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka, it was scheduled to be a
topic in the UN Security Council's Monday afternoon meeting, Ban's
top political official Lynn Pascoe told Inner City Press Monday at 3
asked Pascoe, “Are you one of the senior advisers studying the
report among with Ban?”
“I'm always a
senior adviser,” Pascoe quipped in reply. Later two Security
Council members told Inner City Press that the topics known in
advance to be coming up in the so-called “horizon briefing” by the UN
Department of Political Affairs specifically included Sri
Lanka, as well as Pascoe's trips to Qatar and Cairo.
stage of the conflict in 2009, requests by then members Costa Rica
and Mexico to take up Sri Lanka in the Security Council were blocked,
by Russia, China and others. Non official Council meetings -- called
informal interactive dialogues -- were held in the UN basement, to
in 2011 the
Security Council itself has moved to the basement, and with the new
“horizon briefing” format, Sri Lanka will come up in the Council.
Some say, better late than never. But what will the Security Council
told Inner City Press that the leak of portions of the report --
which many attribute to the government of Sri Lanka itself -- may
change how the matter is considered. But how? Watch this site.
Lankan officials have named Pascoe as being presenting at the meeting
between Lankan Attorney General Mohan Peiris and Ban's three member
panel, and as the one discussing the secrecy of that meeting. We'll see.
* * *
Lanka, UN Withholds Report Which Was Leaked "Shortly After" Gov't Got
it For Review by Adviser Nambiar
April 18 -- Three full days after portions of the Sri Lanka
war crimes report was leaked,
presumptively by the government of
Mahinda Rajapaksa, to The Island newspaper, the UN still at its
Monday noon briefing did not release the full report.
asked acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq why the report was not being
released, whether the Panel of Experts would take questions as took
place for example on connection with the UN's report on the murder of
Benazhir Bhutto of Pakistan, and for the UN's view of Rajaksa's call
for a mass protest of the report on May 1.
asked who the UN thought leaked the report.
said that “it
did leak to a Sri Lankan newspaper, and... shortly after we gave the
report to the government of Sri Lanka.”
the UN says
it is hoping, and was waiting, for a formal response from the Sri
Lanka government, Mahinda Rajapaksa has already called for mass
protests against the report on May 1. On this, Haq said that the UN
called on the government to abide by its responsibility for the
safety of UN staff.
did not answer
about any press conference or Q&A with the Panel of Experts. His
explanation of the non-release of the report was that “the
Secretary General and the Senior Advisers are reviewing” the
of Ban's most
senior advisers is his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, whose role in
the so called white flag murders at the end of the conflict has been
described, among other places, in a filing this year with the
International Criminal Court about which Inner City Press has
repeated asked the UN.
has asked if Nambiar would be recused from consideration of the Sri
war crimes accountability report, and the reply was that the decision
on the report would be by Ban himself. But now, as stated at Monday's
noon briefing, the senior advisers -- which includes Nambiar - are
also involved in the review.
Ban depicted in camp with gun, full report still not shown
portions leaked to The Island criticize Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat for
not release casualty figures during the conflict, Inner City Press
asked Haq to respond to that. He said no, there will be no response
until after Ban and the Senior Advisers -- including Nambiar --
review the report. Watch this site.
leaked, the report says that
the final stages of the war, the United Nations political organs and
bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians.
Moreover, although senior international officials advocated in public
and in private with the Government that it protect civilians and stop
the shelling of hospitals and United Nations or ICRC locations, in
the Panel’s view, the public use of casualty figures would have
strengthened the call for the protection of civilians while those
events in the Vanni were unfolding....
the response of the United Nations to the plight of civilians in the
Vanni during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka and the
aftermath.. The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive
review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri
Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its
humanitarian and protection mandates.”
how is this
Secretary General, with a chief of staff whose role in the so called
white flag killings in Sri Lanka, and who withheld his own Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs casualty figures which were
subsequently leaked to and published by Inner City Press, to credibly
“conduct of comprehensive review” of his own behavior, and that
of his senior advisers?