Is Asked Of ICC & Australian Sri Lanka Citizen
Kohona, UN Still In Denial
March 9 -- Joint Australian - Sri Lankan citizen Palitha
Kohona is the subject of a filing with the International Criminal
Court for his role in presumptive war crimes in the final stages of
the conflict in Sri Lanka. When contacted by the press, Kohona has
refused to “dignify” the case.
March 9, Inner City Press asked Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard about this filing against Kohona, who has also represented
Australia before he represented Sri Lanka, and about the UN's and
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's handling of his Panel on Sri Lanka,
which has not visited the island. Video here.
personally aware of all details of that case,” she answered.
“We are a supporter of the ICC and a supporter of proper legal
procedure and practice, one rule... is that political leaders should
not comment on legal matters that are underway.”
some of the journalists traveling with Prime Minister Gillard later
called this a dodge, it's more than the UN has had to say. Without
Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq has denied to other
media the existence of the ICC filing against Kohona -- which also
mentions and questions the role of Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay
Nambiar in the so called white flag killings.
Gillard & Ban Ki-moon, previously, Kohona and
no-fly zone not shown
main spokesman Martin Nesirky, also not explaining Haq's statement,
has refused to answer questions about Ban's Panel on Sri Lanka,
saying that only the Panel can answer them. But the Panel has no
spokesperson, and let its mailbox overflow and reject submissions
from victims. Only at the UN.
Labour Party MP John Murphy has been quoted, about Kohona,
“I call on the government to independently investigate Dr Palitha
Kohona, an Australian-Sri Lankan dual citizen and former DFAT
official who participated in the surrender of the Tamil Tigers in the
last days of the war. On 18 May 2009, several innocent Tamils were
slaughtered while holding a white flag.”
of the journalists traveling with Minister Gillard asked her if she'd
told “Secretary Moon” that Australia is seeking a Security
Council seat, as well as discussing a possible no-fly zone over
Libya. She confirmed that Australia is seeking a seat, and insisted
that there are no differences between her and Foreign Minister Kevin
Rudd. We'll see.
* * *
As UN Haq Claims No Nambiar ICC Filing,
23 -- With the UN accused of misstatements by Sri
Lanka's government, the UN spokesperson's office has claimed that
there is no filing with the International Criminal Court involving
chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, in the process telling media covering
Myanmar that an Inner City Press story is inaccurate.
spokesman Martin Nesirky was publicly asked Wednesday by Inner City
Press about his deputy Farhan Haq's statement that “the Inner City
Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint formally filed
at the International Criminal Court,” Nesirky did not answer, only
claiming “we spoke about that yesterday.”
Nesirky would not commit to seeking a response from Nambiar if the
descriptions of his involvement in Sri Lanka were accurate.
that, at 7 pm on February 22, Haq received a question about Inner
City Press' story about the ICC filing involving not only Sri Lanka
Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona but also Nambiar, and why
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not responded to calls, including
by Permanent Five and other members of the Security Council, to on
Myanmar replace Nambiar with a full time envoy.
Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM
Question about Nambiar, ICC and Burma envoy role
still the acting Special Adviser on Myanmar.
Inner City Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint
formally filed at the International Criminal Court. Please ask
ICC for anything more on that.
full-time Special Adviser, Ban Ki-moon has been considering
that idea; there is nothing to announce for now.
on February 23 asked Nesirky the basis for Haq's statement that
“there has been no complaint formally filed at the International
Criminal Court.” On both February 22 and 23, Inner City Press told
Nesirky that the ICC filing had been widely reported in the
Did the UN
seek any retraction or correction from
would only take a few questions on February 23 -- he used time
accusing Inner City Press of making noise with its laptop, which was
untrue -- so Inner City Press was unable to ask for the UN's response
to Sri Lanka's government's claim that Ban Ki-moon daily schedule for
February 23 is false, and that the UN has never even asked to meet
wth members of Mahinda Rajapaksa's Lessons Learnt &
UN's Ban & Nambiar, response to Haq & Lanka
statements, ICC not shown
this space and
rejected reports that External Affairs Ministry
Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe and Attorney General Mohan Peiris were in
New York to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Deputy
Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera told the Daily Mirror that
the External Affairs Ministry Secretary was overseas on a private
visit and that, to his knowledge, there was no meeting scheduled
between the Attorney General and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
rejected claims that the government had hindered the
UN Secretary Generals’ Expert Panel from contacting the local
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
are in constant contact with the UN Secretary General’s office and
they have not requested to meet with the LLRC. If they so wish they
can contact them through us or even directly”, he said.
the LLRC told the Daily Mirror that any contact
between the panel and the LLRC would generally have to be through the
External Affairs Ministry. “The Commission has not been contacted,
normally however it is understood that any contact would have to be
made through the External Affairs Ministry; the Secretary Generals
office or the UN office in Colombo would have to contact them- but no
such contact has been made,” the representative said.
that besides disallowing the UN Panel to visit Sri
Lanka the government had rejected the Secretary Generals offers for
those from the Panel to contact members of the LLRC through video
conferencing or written questions.
* * *
to Meet with Sri Lanka AG, His Panel Undercut, No Nambiar
22 -- Two months after UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon claimed that his Panel on Sri Lanka
could visit the country
due to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's “flexibility,” on February
23 Ban is now scheduled to meet in New York with Sri Lankan Attorney
Mohan Peiris and Secretary for External Affairs C.R. Jayasinghe,
Inner City Press learned late on February 22.
not traveled to Sri Lanka, even as its extended deadline approaches.
Inner City Press has reported exclusively that the Rajapaksa
government since Ban's December 17 statement has refused to allow
Ban's three person Panel to interview any Sri Lankan official, saying
that such officials will only speak with Ban's Executive Office of
the Secretary General.
offers of video conference between
his and Rajapaksa's Panel, or written questions, were rejected.
in Ban's office, feels this totally undermines the Panel on
Accountability that Ban set up, they say apparently Ban has given in,
as reflected by Wednesday's meeting. We'll see.
UN's Ban & M. Rajapaksa, Panel(s) & Nambiar not shown
22, Inner City Press asked
spokesman Martin Nesirky:
I wanted to ask you a non-Libya question.
all means. Make a change.
Sure. There was a filing
over the weekend on, with the
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)…
Yeah, there was a filing with the Prosecutor of the ICC
that has been widely reported in the Australian media. It’s
largely against the [Permanent Representative] of Sri Lanka, saying
that he should be prosecuted. But it has a couple of paragraphs, one
which says there is a basis to question whether Vijay Nambiar was in
fact an innocent neutral intermediary. And then it has a factual, a
paragraph that it says is facts, saying that Nambiar, through the
UN’s 24-hour dispatch, told Colvin that Mahinda Rajapakse, Gotabaya
Rajapakse and Palitha Kohona had assured Nambiar that the LTTE
[Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] members who surrendered would be
treated like normal prisoners of war if they hoisted a white flag
high. I wanted to know what the UN’s response to this now, why the
reported filing? Is that an accurate statement of fact and what’s
the UN’s response to the characterization?
first of all, the filing is as reported in the
: No, no, the file; I can give you a copy of the filing
if you want it, it’s public, it’s been made public by two Tamil
organizations that filed it with [Luis Moreno] Ocampo’s Office. It
was picked up in Australia, I guess because of the Kohona angle, but
I just want to know, since Mr. Nambiar is the Chief of Staff of the
UN, what is the response to the characterization of him as possibly
involved and the factual statement of him conveying these assurances
from the President of Sri Lanka?
a couple of points. The second is that I think you
would need to check with the International Criminal Court’s
Prosecutor about something that has been filed to the ICC Prosecutor. I
think you would need to look at that. Secondly, on the second
part of your question, I really don’t have any comment on that at
this time. Okay?
[inaudible] what Mr. Nambiar…
said I don’t have any comment on it at this time. Okay, all
right, thank you very much.
what the UN
called “inaudible,” Inner City Press asked Nesirky if he was even
going to try to get a comment or response from Mr. Nambiar.
Now -- will Nambiar be at the February 23 meeting? Watch