Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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, UN Says Responsibility to Protect is a "Concept" Only, Video Not Seen

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, May 6 -- The responsibility to protect is just "a concept" that does not yet have "an effective mechanism," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson told the Press on Wednesday when asked about Sri Lanka. Inner City Press queried whether Mr. Ban has yet named a team to conduct the humanitarian assessment mission to the conflict zone he said his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar had won two weeks ago. I can get that information for you, the spokesperson said. Video here, from Minute 32:16.

   The UN Secretariat is showing little urgency, senior NGO officials told Inner City Press on Wednesday. They pointed at UN humanitarian chief John Holmes' failure to appoint an assessment team, as he set off on trips elsewhere in the world. Ban Ki-moon has been invited to the country, how ever begrudgingly, but Wednesday his spokesperson said he hasn't decided whether or not to go.

  Interviews Inner City Press conducted in the conflict zone Wednesday morning by satellite phone found a situation in which food had not been delivered for a week, and bombs were raining down.  Wednesday at noon, Ban's spokesperson said finally some food is being loaded into the ICRC ship. But a week without food, without the naming of a humanitarian team, strike many as a low point for the UN.

Ban Ki-moon's R2P expert Ed Luck at UN, Sri Lanka not shown

   Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson about a widely seen piece on Britain's Channel 4, filmed in an IDP camp with allegations, on camera, of the disappearance and rape of young women. Video here, from Minute 17:42. "You know I do not comment on press reports," the spokesperson said. "I haven't seen it, and I don't think the S-G has seen it either." Well maybe he should:

 Channel 4 in the UK with allegations of rape and disappearance

Footnote: We continue to wait for the UK's formal answer to the first of the two questions which Inner City Press asked the UK Mission to the UN two questions on Sri Lanka early on April 15:

Does the UK believe that international law and the rights of UN humanitarian staff are being violated by the now-acknowledged detention of UN staff in the Sri Lankan government's “IDP” camps?

It has been reported this morning that Sri Lanka's “minister also told the British Foreign Secretary that there was concern that the LTTE would continue to consolidate its fortification of the No-Fire Zone.” Please confirm the accuracy of that, and of this and if so, does the UK interpret it as saying that an offensive on the No-Fire Zone and the civilians in it will begin? What did the UK Foreign Secretary say?

  As of this press time weeks later, the formal answer has been referral to Minister Miliband's April 12 statement, and this. On April 21, Inner City Press put the question to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, whose spokesman the following day cleared this response:  "UN personnel should have freedom of movement and be treated with respect." But they are still detained as of this writing. As more answers arrive or are released we will report them on this site.

  Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -