Ends Visas for Cyclone NGOs, UN Looks Away, Blessing Scam
August 23 -- In the run up to a November election which will
exclude Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy, the
military government of Myanmar has moved to curtail the system of
entry visas for aid workers instituted after Cyclone Nargis.
expect the UN, whose Secretary General Ban Ki-moon once claimed this
post-Nargis access as one of his major accomplishments, to speak out
against this re-closing down of Myanmar, that has not been the case.
Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN
Spokesman Martin Nesirky
and UN officials who appeared only on condition of not being named to
list any recent accomplishment on Myanmar of the UN's Good Offices
role. On August 20, Inner City Press specifically asked if the UN
its envoy on Myanmar Vijay Nambiar, Ban's chief of staff, had any
comment on the visa crackdown. Here is the UN's response in Inner
question on the TCG
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
<unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org>
To: Matthew Lee [at]
Date: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM
43rd ASEAN annual meeting Hanoi on 19–20 July 2010, the ASEAN
Foreign agreed to officially to end the Tripartite Core Group (TCG)
and the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force (AHTF) by 31 July 2010 and to
transfer the coordination role to the Government.
of the Government’s announcement that Nargis related work
will be taken up by the relevant line ministries, the UNCT is
engaging closely with the authorities to ensure that needed
assistance in not interrupted.
today 15 UN agencies, 50 international organizations and a
similar number of local NGOs operating inside the country and are
working not only in the Ayeyarwaddy delta, but in all regions of
Myanmar. Looking forward, the United Nations and the Government of
Myanmar have reached agreement for collaborating on a two-year Joint
Humanitarian Initiative (2010-2011) for Northern Rakhine State, a
border area whose population faces a particularly difficult
combination of socio-economic and humanitarian factors.
will the UN's current push for Pakistan end with a similar whimper?
UN's Ban at Burma model village, follow through not shown
reported on the Myanmar visa crackdown,
brings about several changes, none of them good for aid workers or
the cyclone survivors who can hardly make ends meet. First, as there
is no single ministry overseeing aid work, aid agencies will have to
sign cooperation agreements with individual ministries... A veteran
aid worker who declined to be named said that it usually takes
between four months and two years to obtain a cooperation agreement
with a ministry and another five months to be granted a visa.”
which time, of
course, the scam election entrenching the military dictatorship will
already have taken place -- with what to some now seems the de
facto “blessing” of the UN. Watch this site.
* * *
San Suu Kyi Absent from Ban's Statement As From Myanmar "Sham"
Nov 7 Election: Good Offices?
13 -- In the wake of the Myanmar military
government's announcement it will hold what was quickly called its
“sham” election on November 7, with Aung San Suu Kyi still under
house arrest, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky if
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon or his Myanmar adviser, Vijay Nambiar,
had any comment. Video here,
had nothing to say. Later in the day's noon briefing, a statement
was brought to Nesirky. When he read it out, it had no mention of
Aung San Suu Kyi, the long imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner who
declined to meet with Ban's previous Myanmar adviser Ibrahim Gambari.
asked, does Mr. Ban believe that Aung San Suu Kyi should be able to
participate in the election? Video here,
“That's what it
says,” Nesirky replied, pointing at the canned “Statement
Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary General” that he
had just read.
didn't mention Aung San Suu Kyi.
UN's Ban, Gambari and Nambiar, reference to ASSK not shown
And earlier this month, Nesirky and
his office walked away from another similar statement, about Kashmir.
complained, the UN backtracked and noted that the
Secretary General himself had not said the words, they were mere
So what DOES
Mr. Ban himself think of the
Adviser, who just got a new sign on the UN Library's third floor,
despite rarely going to that office. When Gambari left the job, the
so called Good Offices role, Nambiar was called a temporary fill in.
But the post has yet to be filled. Some Good Offices. Watch this
* * *
Myanmar Pipeline a "Win Win," Silence
-- In the run up to Myanmar's military tilted
elections, the UN has had very little to say. Now Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar is traveling to Singapore
and China, although what he is trying to accomplish is not clear.
taking over from Ibrahim Gambari as the UN's envoy on
Myanmar, but ever since becoming chief of staff, Mr. Nambiar has yet
to hold any on the record press conference.
so at the UN's
June 9 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked
Spokesman Farhan Haq:
mentioned Mr. Nambiar as being in Singapore, on a
good offices mandate of Myanmar. There is a project there that is of
some concern to both the opposition and human rights groups. It’s
a Daewoo pipeline, and it’s one that the Secretary-General,
the Foreign Minister of [the Republic of] Korea, called a win-win
solution for Korea and India. Opposition figures also say that UN
officials have met with Daewoo about that project in the military-ran
country of Myanmar. I’m wondering, does the Secretary-General —
I’m now assuming you can’t say necessarily from the podium —
but can you check and see whether the Secretary-General still holds
the belief that that pipeline is a win-win solution, and whether the
various holders of the good offices mandate, [Ibrahim] Gambari and
now Mr. Nambiar, have ever met with Daewoo about the project?
also need to check, I don’t have any
information about Daewoo.
if you can check, that would be great.
more than two
days later, there has been no answer.
UN's Ban and Myanmar's FM (Win) Nyan Win:
Daewoo win win not shown
In fact, Mr. Haq tried to not
take more questions on June 9. Inner City Press said that it has been
even less likely to receive answers when questions are submitted in
writing to the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General.
Haq said that the Office provides answer when it get them. But is it
trying? Watch this site.
end of the UN's June 9 noon briefing:
you heard the head of UNAIDS saying that he’d
asked, or had hoped… well, you heard it. I won’t mischaracterize
it. Did the Secretary-General raise the issue of Maxim Popov, a UN,
essentially, funded AIDS activist who has been sentenced to 7 years
while he was in Uzbekistan, and what response did he obtain?
with the people who are part of his
traveling delegation. I am not aware that that name came up, but
certainly we can check. And with that, I bid you a…
stage, this more a dialogue, anyway, so, we
can sort this out than…
where I never got a written answer. Even,
for example, on The Three Idiots. I was never sent an answer. So,
I’d rather ask the question here…
you were sent an answer on this about a day
or two ago.
but I put it in 28 May. Here is my question,
about Burundi, since he was in Burundi.
had an answer we gave it to you. As soon as
we had it.
he was in Burundi, did he have anything to say
about the fact that the upcoming election will have only one
presidential candidate, since the opposition has dropped out? I’ve
read the speeches, but I haven’t seen… I’ve seen mostly praise. But
most people say that democracy has fallen apart, there is only
one candidate. Is that acceptable?
of all, he’s still in Burundi right now. He will talk to
the press whilst there. And he is talking with
President Nkurunziza, as I said at the start. So, let’s see what
he has to say at the end of the day.
democracy in Burundi and Myanmar,