Tells Press to Pay $23,000 For Space to Cover It, Sources Say, Scant UN
Coverage to Further Decrease?
Critique of the Press Dissected, Sri Lanka-Style Crackdown in the
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: Media Analysis
NATIONS, June 2 -- In an extraordinary four minute harangue from the
bully pulpit of the UN's media briefing room, the spokesperson for
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Michele Montas bemoaned that the
independent Press does not obey her and adopt a "different
approach, that the UN is not able to impose its genteel definition of
journalism and ethics on those who report on its operations, and that
anyone dare ask for an accounting of her and other senior UN
official's views on and meetings related to crackdown on the Press.
from Minute 14:33 to Minute 18:41.
Ms. Montas, apparently with the approval of the three of
Under Secretaries General to whom Inner City Press e-mailed questions
about their May 8 meeting which recommended legal action against
three media organizations but who did not respond, chose to make her
critique in public, on the UN's own in-house television channel on
which she would brook no interruption, what follows is a transcript
annotated with the underlying context. It
began, as Inner City Press
has been asking at every day's noon briefing since January of this
year, with a question about Sri Lanka and the UN (click here
for NY Times debate)
City Press: Michele, two questions. One is that the Government of
Sri Lanka has expelled the head of the Norway-based NGO, Forut, from
the country. Does the UN have any response to that as it did in say,
Montas: No, not at this point. Not at this point, at all.
City Press: Okay. The other question is, one, I e-mailed you, but
I’m compelled to ask it. Whether you participated in an 8 May
meeting with Ms. Angela Kane and certain others about how the UN
would have a legal strategy on the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and
Inner City Press, including seeking
to de-list it from Google News?
Montas: Okay, Matthew, I just want to point out that I don’t have
to account to you about the meetings I participate in. I participate
in about seven meetings a day, okay. I don’t have any accounts to
give you about what was discussed in a specific meeting that
was held here at UN Headquarters!
City Press: I have seen the minutes, but I guess my question to you is
before writing the article, how was the content of that meeting
consistent with Article 19 and the First Amendment and what Mr. Ban
said on 7 May about freedom of the press and of online media?
Ms. Montas and UN"s Ban- does he know? - please, no
Those were discussions based on people who actually complained about
things that you wrote about. I am talking about what you wrote
concerning particularly the Medical Service where you really touched
upon people’s reputations without any proof!
Medical Service story to which Ms. Montas referred in fact
contained ample proof, including a photograph of the log book in
which employees at the Medical Service signed out narcotics to
themselves. Three weeks after Inner City Press ran the story, the
first request was that the photograph be taken off line. Inner
City Press immediately granted this request to remove the evidence,
or "proof," from the public domain, at the UN's request.
Now Ms. Montas claims there is no proof.
on June 2, Inner City Press and two other media organization spoke in
the hall -- see below -- with USG Angela Kane of the Department of
Management, which oversees the Medical Service. In a discussion that
all three reporters agreed was not off the record, as Ms. Kane never
made any such request, Ms. Kane said that a total of two staff
members had complained, about the photograph, which Ms. Kane stated
she had not seen.
incredulous, asked her to justify her statement in a May 21 press
conference that the Office of Internal Oversight Services had clearer
the Medical Service. She acknowledged that OIOS had, as was stated in
the written response that Inner City Press received and put online,
been blocked by lack of access to putatively confidential
She claimed that
after Inner City Press published the
OIOS statement, less than two weeks ago and after her statement that
the Service had been clearer, OIOS was granted access to previously
confidential information. Then, she said, the Medical Service was
clearer. But why did she announce the results before the
investigation had been done?
Montas: And I want to underline the fact that whenever we have sent
to you or other media, some other media -– very few of them, we
have sent rectification saying this is untrue; this is what the truth
is. You don’t bother to print that.
This is patently untrue. In the case of the Medical Service story,
the UN provided no response until after Ms. Kane's press conference,
and when it did, Inner City Press immediately published the UN's
statement. Even Ms. Kane acknowledged that Inner City Press took down
the photograph of the log book -- the proof -- as soon as the UN
requested in, on a Saturday morning.
Ms. Montas' public criticism
cannot be substantiated. In fact, it is her office which, as Inner
City Press specifies in week in review articles, refuses to answer
question even when they are posed publicly in the UN's noon briefing.
See e.g., May
10 2009, May 2, 2009,
City Press: OIOS sent me something from Ms. Ahlenius that said that
they couldn’t verify the claims against the Medical Service because
of confidentiality. But Ms. Kane, here in this room, said that the
Medical Service was cleared, which isn’t even what Ms. Ahlenius
said. So, I did run it, I am always happy to run it, but I guess, I
don’t want to dominate this…
That has nothing to do with this. The fact that we get together, any
staff member, any senior adviser here, get together in a meeting and
discuss some specific claim, some specific allegation in some press
report, in some media, about people whose lives are affected by
media, and where issues of libel are discussed, I think it’s
something that is [inaudible].
It is interesting that Ms. Montas refers to the possibility of a
libel suit by the UN, which itself claims that it cannot be sued. As
exclusively reported by Inner City Press, earlier this year a UN
staff member had a fatal stroke in the basement of Headquarters and
waited an hour for an ambulance due to the failure of the UN's
systems for alerting NYC emergency services.
expressed a desire to sue, it is the UN's position that it is immune.
Now the UN speaks of libel. As an aside, Inner City Press was
informed later on June 2 by staff in the unit where the man died that
since Inner City Press' coverage, and because of it, they are now
allowed to call 911 and not only the UN where there is an emergency.
City Press: [Since the minutes indicate] that the UN is seeking to
complain to Google News and to have Inner City Press removed, does
that confirm that previously
when Inner City Press was removed that
the UN was behind it?
The UN had nothing to do with it.
Even if that were true, at the time when Inner City Press was, based
on anonymous complaint, removed from Google News for one week, Inner
City Press was told that the UN would never make such a complaint, to
stop implying that publicly, it could never come from the UN. Now
three UN Under Secretaries General discuss precisely this, without
objection. Did they do it in the past, or has the UN gotten even more
opposed to press freedom in the past year?
City Press: But this time the goal is to complain --
Nothing was decided. Absolutely nothing. Things were discussed
because of the fact that a number of allegations that you have
printed are erroneous, do not respect the facts, and…
the only example given by Ms. Montas was the Medical Service story,
which Inner City Press stands behind. For the UN to use the bully
pulpit of its media briefing room to harangue a reporter for
unspecified errors is itself abusive. Ms. Montas has done it
before, when questioned about the Ban administration's stealth hiring
Several close observers have
concluded that the vehemence of the June 2 denunciation or attempt to
intimidate, including as planned on May 8 and subsequently leaked, is
related to Inner City Press' critical coverage of the
UN's non-action against civilian death and internment in Sri Lanka,
including the UN's withholding of casualty figures and satellite
[inaudible] confirmed this.
Fox News ran the same story [inaudible].
May I finish, please?
I’m sorry, please.
Not only you do not respect the facts, and I think some of your
colleagues agree with me on this… not only you do not respect the
facts, you do not respect when we actually call you, call upon you
and we send a rectification. The third aspect of it all is that,
whenever I speak to you or anybody else speaks to you, what we have
is not a different approach, no! It is “I met so and so in the
hallway”, and that’s what appears in your blog, “and he told me
so and so”. I think this is, there are some definite ethics issues
Inner City Press' rule is that if a UN official says off the record,
it is respected -- often, Inner City Press choses not to continue to
listen to off the record presentations. At one stage Ms. Montas
sought to convene Inner City Press into her office for a discipline
session. Inner City Press reported the "invitation," which
was not off the record. The session was then canceled by Ms. Montas.
entirely acceptable journalistic approach is, if you can't say it
on the record, don't say it. Journalistic errors such as Judith
Miller's of the New York Times' in the run up to the Iraq war were
caused by allow people with power to put out information off the
Montas: We have a press corps here, and unfortunately we don’t have
an ethics code the way a number of organizations, news organizations,
have. And the ethics code should also apply; a basic ethics code
should basically be applied.
Is the UN in any position to define what is acceptable journalism?
The UN allows a Special Representative of the Secretary General in
Somalia who has called for a "moratorium" on reporting of
the killing of civilians, and who most
recently accused the Press of
being complicit in genocide for asking him to response to Oxfam's
testimony that the UN and UNDP support and pay police who commit
human rights violations. After his outburst, he was congratulated
other UN media "professionals."
In the few days since, Inner City
Press is informed by its sources in Somalia that journalists seeking to
investigate reports of rape by police at the "Mothers' Home" -- the
former women's organisation headquarters in Mogadishu -- were
threatened with AK47s by the police, the very police the UN envoy said
should still be worked with. We'll have more on this.
City Press: [inaudible]
Since you actually talked to me about this and you mentioned in your
e-mail my own background as a journalist, I would say that what I
have read in your blog goes against many of the ethical values of
It was unclear that the UN's noon briefing was a venue for Ms.
Montas' personal views of acceptable journalism. Inner City Press
asked by her views by e-mail on June 1 precisely so that time
wouldn't be wasted in the UN's noon briefing. But Ms. Montas clearly
preferred to vent in public.
City Press: [inaudible] talking about Sri Lanka [inaudible]
I am not talking about Sri Lanka. I am talking in general.
Okay. Just a coincidence.
the same way
that Ms. Montas said that unnamed "colleagues" in the UN
agree with her, let it be known that many people disbelieve that
there is no connection between the May 8 -- and June 2 -- crackdown
on the Press and coverage of the UN's problematic role in civilian
casualties and interment in Sri Lanka. That is a country where those
in power pontificate from their podiums on what is and is not
acceptable journalism, and then uncooperative journalists are
punished. But at the UN? Watch this site.
Targets WSJ, Fox and Inner City Press, According to Minutes, Google
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, June 2 -- The day after after UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon gave a speech
about freedom of the press, minutes show that
his Spokesperson and three of his Under Secretaries General met about
"reporting by the press, particularly Fox News, the Wall Street
Journal, and Inner City Press," at which it was proposed to write
"cease and desist" and "letters before action" and, "with
regard to Inner City Press... complaining to Google News."
At the UN noon briefing on June 2, UN Spokesperson Michele Montas
confirmed her participation, while arguing that she doesn't have to
account for her participating in such meetings. Video here,
from Minute 14:49 to 18:41.
prepared by Under Secretary General Angela Kane’s Department of
Management, recite that Ms. Kane met on May 8 with "Mr. Akasaka,
Ms. Montas, Ms. O’Brien [the UN’s top lawyer and] Mr. Meyers"
[sic, chief speechwriter and
Director of Communications Michael
Meyer] to devise a strategy to counter negative coverage of the UN by
the three above-named media outlets.
writing to professional journalistic bodies which regulate the
journalists concerned as well as letters to the editors with copies
to their companies' legal counsel," the minutes state.
"With regard to
Inner City Press, we should also consider complaining to Google News
(they host Inner City Press)," the minutes continue.
extraordinary, this would not be without precedent. In February
after a similar complaint, Inner City Press was temporarily removed
from Google News.
delisting, and the UN, were criticized
by the Government
Accountability Project, a Washington-DC whistleblower protection
organization, and were covered by
Inner City Press has not only covered whistleblower
issues within the UN Medical
Service and but has persistently questioned the UN’s
Ban Ki-moon’s inaction as thousands of civilians were killed in Sri
Lanka, including the UN’s double
standards and withholding of satellite photos and its
estimates of civilian casualties.
precisely the watchdog role
Ki-moon’s May 7 press freedom speech praised the press and
specifically bloggers for. Ban noted that "some 45 percent of all media
workers who have been jailed worldwide are bloggers....I urge all
governments to respect the rights of these citizen journalists."
next day, his highest officials met in secret to devise a strategy to
deliver legal threats to three
media organizations, and to constructively censor one of them, by
seeking to delist (or "de-host") Inner City Press from Google
UN's Ban and Montas: one praises bloggers,
the other... not so much
section of the minutes on these senior UN officials' anti-Press meeting
of May 8 is preceded by a discussion of the suspension of
the UN's National Competitive Exam (click here for Inner City Press'
May 1 article), and is followed by a section on "business
continuity training" in light of the swine flu
/ H1N1. Click here for
Inner City Press' May 5 article on Angela Kane's space grab in the Capital
Master Plan, here for
Inner City Press article on "the wrath of Kane" on May 7, the day
before she convened the anti-Press meeting.
Ironically, in light of Kane's purported basis for attacking the Press,
that it does not quickly enough publish her response, she has stated in
writing to Inner City Press that she has no time to answer questions,
and to ask them all at the UN's noon briefing. There, more often than
not, questions are left unanswered, or not allowed at all, ostensibly
due to time constraints.
Inner City Press exclusively reported on May 30, Kane's department is
seeking to charge the Press $23,000 to maintain office space in the
UN which has previously been given without charge, to facilitate
requested comment on theafternoon of June 1 from Ms. Kane, Ms. Montas,
and Mr. Akasaka, the head of the UN Department of Public Information.
was the e-mail
to Ms. Montas to which she did not reply for 20 hours, but rather
prepared her statement for the June 2 noon briefing. Similar requests
for comment were sent to other listed participants in the May 8
meeting, including USG of DPI Kiyotaka Akasaka, USG for Management
Angela Kane (with additional questions), and USG for Legal Affairs
Patricia O'Brien, none of whom responded at least for the following
Hi, request on deadline for comment on May 8 meeting and Press
Michele Montas [at] un.org, Kiyo Akasaka [at] un.org
Inner City Press
6/1/2009 4 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Akasaka and Ms. Montas --
Hi. I am
story about a May 8 meeting in which documents indicate you both were
involved, regarding “reporting by the press, particularly Fox News,
the Wall Street Journal, and Inner City Press,” at which it was
proposed to write “cease and desist” and “letters before
action” and, “with regard to Inner City Press… complaining to
deadline -- am
resending this to ensure receipt and response -- could you please
either deny despite the documents your participation in such a
meeting, or to explain how the above is consistent with press
freedom, Article 19 and, here, the First Amendment -- and also, for
you [Ms. Montas], your previous career as a journalist.
comment, in light of the above, on the UN’s previous denials of
involvement in a complaining to Google News and getting Inner City
Press temporarily delisted. See, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331106,00.html
learned from the S-G's recent trip to Sri Lanka, but was troubled to
be urgently informed of the above upon return. Also, the proposed
$23,000 charge for media wanting / needing similar office space in
the Capital Master Plan, if you have any comment on or insight into
Thank you in advance, on
Russell Lee, Inner City Press
hours after these requests for comment or denial were submitted, no
responses were received. Given the UN's stated concern of Inner City
Press not waiting to include UN responses (which often come late if at
all), Inner City Press held off running this story until receiving
day, June 2, Inner City Press asked Ms. Montas at the noon briefing,
and she responded with what appeared to be a prepared statement. Why
she did not email this response, to avoid taking up time in the noon
briefing, is not clear. Other reporters opined that Ms. Montas wanted
to give a "public tongue lashing." Whether that is an appropriate use
by the UN of its noon briefing is also not clear.
Montas began by saying, "I don't have to account to you for
meetings I participate in," adding that "senior advisors"
to Ban Ki-moon can and apparently do have such meetings all the time.
We will pursue this. Video here,
from Minute 14:49. Inner City Press asked if her, Ms. Kane's and
apparently the UN's complaints have to do with Inner City Press'
coverage of the UN's role in the carnage in Sri Lanka. We will continue
on this. Watch this site.
* * *
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, May 29, updated June 1
-- The press would for the first time in UN history
be charged for space in UN headquarters under a plan announced in a
closed door meeting on May 28 by officials of Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon. Since Mr. Ban assumed the position 29 months ago, CNN has
stopped covering the UN on a daily basis, and the Washington
mulling closing its UN bureau.
Nevertheless the chief of the UN's
Capital Master Plan renovation Michael Adlerstein told press corps
members that in the "swing space" for media for the next
three to four years, work spaces like the ones they have now for free
will require them to pay $23,000, or even $70,000 in the case of
The same amounts or more will be charged again once
the UN Headquarters building is renovated, sources in the
meeting told Inner City Press. Despite multiple requests by Inner
City Press, neither Adlerstein or his spokesman have commented for
Mr. Ban's administration receives less press coverage than his
predecessor Kofi Annan, who never charged the media. What is not
known is if the move to charge the media tens of thousands of dollars
comes from and is approved by Mr. Ban, or is a unilateral project of
Adlerstein and his boss, Under Secretary for Management Angela Kane.
summer, Inner City Press was provided by a whistleblower with a copy
of a Department of Management internal memo reflected that Ms. Kane
wanted a review of public institutions similar to the UN to see if
they charge the media for space.
City Press reported on July
a July 15 memo, Principal Officer Lena Dissin said that Angela Kane,
the then-new Under Secretary General for Management, "has asked
us to quickly get some benchmarks from other organizations to see
what facilities if any they may make available to the press,"
and on what basis.
neither the U.S. State Department nor City Hall in New York charge
money. While Kane has refused to answer emailed questions, Adlerstein
in the hallway of the UN months ago told Inner City Press that the
rationale for trying to charge, if they did, would be that for the
first time the UN is having to rent a lot of outside space, and so is
looking at costs more closely.
Apparently, though, the UN is not
looking at precedents, neither of the fact that no previous UN
Secretary General charged money to the press, nor that the State
Department, White House and City Hall do not. In fact, the UN is
directed by General Assembly resolutions that are now sure to be
cited to make it easier, and not harder, for the press to cover it.
UN's Ban and Adlerstein view [Press free?] Capital
Master Plan, UN Sept. 12, 2008
May 29, Inner City Press telephoned Adlerstein's spokesman Werner
Schmidt, whose voice mail message said his line was busy. Inner City
Press left a detailed message about the media charges and asked for
confirmation or denial and comment, on deadline, before noon.
response was received then or even by 3 p.m., so Inner City Press
Adlerstein's line. His secretary said he was in a meeting for the
next hour. Inner City Press again explained the question, and that a
response was requested. He will call you back in an hour,
Adlerstein's receptionist said. Twenty four hours later there has
been no response.
Ms. Kane has previously told Inner City Press, in
writing, that she had no time to answer such questions, and to ask
everything at the UN's noon briefing. But on May 29, Deputy
Spokesperson Marie Okabe said from the outset that she would take
only two questions from the entire press corp, including on charges
that the UN covered up 20,000 civilian deaths in Sri Lanka. According,
we publish this story now.
explanation above is apparently necessary, because within the
embattled Department of Management Inner City Press is informed of a
strategy to lash out at the Press for not obtaining comments in
advance. But when high officials say they have no time to answer
questions and to ask at the noon briefing, at which it is said that
only two questions will be taken, it is not the Press' fault.
fact, related to the anti-press strategy reported on above, simply in
the past four day week, the UN has neglected to provide follow-up
answers promised on at least two (mis) management issues.
May 26, fresh back from traveling with and covering Mr. Ban's trip to
Sri Lanka and Copenhagen, Inner
City Press asked
City Press: the Secretary-General went to UNOPS in Copenhagen. There,
not long ago, there was a story in I guess, the Washington
Post, talking about this UNOPS Director problem in Afghanistan and
missing funds and the dispute between USAID and the UN about the
return of funds that were improperly diverted to other uses. Is this
something that either he raised in his speech at UNOPS or in speaking
with Mr. Jan Mattsson? What’s the UN system done since that report
came out about missing money?
Spokesperson Okabe: We’ll check with UNOPS
four days later, no answer has been provide, not even a cursory
read-out of Mr. Ban's meeting with UNOPS director Mattsson. On May
27, Inner City Press asked
City Press: Marie, I want to ask a question about a contract that the
UN is entering into for outside legal counsel to defend a claim by
PCP International. They’re paying an outside legal firm, it
appears, $500,000, and then Headquarters’ committee on contracts
now shows there are significant irregularities in it. Can you
explain on what basis? Doesn’t the UN have its own legal
department? When does it hire outside firms and, in this case, if
you can look into it, why were the safeguards of procurement
Spokesperson Okabe: This is the first I hear of this, so we’ll
have to look into it for you.
three days later, no answer has been received to this detailed
question that is, like the attempt to charge the press money, in the
purview of the Department of Management. The question is based on
internal UN documents provided to Inner City Press by a
whistleblower. [On June 1, five days
after the question, the UN provided a response, which is published
Currently, such documents whether about the UN's $250
million no-bid contract with Lockheed Martin or irregularities in the
UN Medical Service, or even Inner City Press' acknowledged
exclusive this week of a leaked
copy of the draft Security Council resolution on North Korea can be
given to the Press in a closed-door
office without monitoring by the UN. Under the new plan of Adlerstein
and Kane, absent $23,000, this would not be possible.
Even now, a person
the UN has suspected of being the Medical Services
whistleblower has had her e-mail "broken into" by the UN
and checked, including to read any communications with the Press.
Inner City Press asked at the noon briefing for the UN's comment on the
legality of its treatment of the person, but no answer has been given.
Welcome to the UN. We will report on any UN responses belatedly
of June 1 -- five days after the PCP International question above, the
UN provided this response:
response to your question of 27 May
UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Inner City Press
Mon, 1 Jun 2009 6:27 pm
: Marie, I want to ask a question about a contract that the UN is
entering into for outside legal counsel to defend a claim by PCP
International, they’re paying an outside legal firm, and it
appears, $500,000, and then Headquarters’ committee on contracts
now it shows there are significant irregularities in it. Can you
explain on what basis? Doesn’t the UN have its own Legal
Department? When does it hire outside firms and in this case, if you
can look into it, why were the safeguards of procurement overridden?
The legal contract referred to in the question was bid out on a
competitive basis after appropriate due diligence. The contract was
recently signed. The acquisition process was reviewed by the
Headquarters Committee on Contracts (HCC) and as such the appropriate
safeguards and internal control measures, as per the Procurement
Manual, were undertaken to ensure that the procurement case is
compliant with the established rules and regulations and a best value
for money outcome was achieved in the interest of the Organization.
As the release of commercial contractual information is a potential
for litigation, it is inappropriate for the UN to add any further
The question was based on
internal UN documents being provided to Inner City Press by a
whistleblower. Watch this site.
UN, Sri Lanka Sinks Lower than the Basement, Ban Criticized on Human
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, May 28 -- The status of interred civilians in Sri Lanka has
sunk so low at the UN that even for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to
be invited to brief the Security Council on his recent fly-over the
conflict zone has resulted in opposition from China, Russia, Viet Nam
In a closed door Security Council meeting Thursday, these
countries and others suggested that since there is no more conflict,
Ban should not brief the Council but rather the General Assembly. It
was arranged that Ban will meet private with Russia and Turkey, the
Council presidents for May and June. At most, Ban will brief the
Council in the UN's basement, put on par with Sri Lanka's Ambassador
to the UN.
was lambasted by Human Rights Watch for having offered praise to
Sri Lanka's interment camps, in a way that contributed to the
vote-down of a call for a international investigation yesterday in
the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Inner City Press on Thursday
asked Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe to respond to the Wednesday
press release of Human Rights Watch, which
that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had regrettably undercut efforts
to produce a strong resolution with his recent comments in Sri Lanka.
Ban publicly praised the government for "doing its utmost"
and for its "tremendous efforts," while accepting
government assurances, repeatedly broken in the past, that it would
ensure humanitarian access to civilians in need.
also distanced himself from strong language used in April by the UN
under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, John Holmes, who
warned that the fighting in Sri Lanka could result in a "bloodbath."
Unlike Pillay, Ban also failed to press for an international inquiry.
Ban shares the blame for the Human Rights Council's poor showing on
24 hours after this press
release went online, Ms. Obake said that
the UN hadn't seen it. Video here,
from Minute 11:50. She said
however that on these issues "the Secretary General has been
very clear in public, perhaps more clear in private." Perhaps.
UN's Ban looking up - toward a Security
Council or GA "informal dialogue"?
After the noon briefing, the following arrived:
Your questions on Sri Lanka
unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org
Inner City Press
5/28/2009 2:17:18 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
to add to what we already said at the noon briefing:
Secretary-General has repeatedly said wherever serious and credible
allegations are made of grave and persistent violations of
international humanitarian laws, these should be properly
addition, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, while
noting that the Human Rights Council will not agree to set up such an
inquiry at this point, says that more information will come out, more
evidence will emerge about what did and did not happen. So an
international inquiry could still happen further down the line. The
Office also said that international human rights law is quite robust
-- there are different ways and means to get to the truth and provide
some measure of accountabilty. Sometimes it takes years, but this
Session and this resolution do not close any avenues.
Ban's speech upon arrival in Sri Lanka on May 22, and his Joint
Statement with the government exiting the country the next day, speak
a briefing primarily about Pakistan, Inner City Press asked the UN's
top humanitarian John Holmes if the doctors who remained in the
conflict zone to offer treatment and casualty figures are still being
detained and interrogated by the government of Sri Lanka. They are,
almost Holmes said they have received ICRC visits. Yesterday the head
of the ICRC said that his Red Cross has no access to some Sri Lankan
"interment" camps. Holmes said that he disagrees. Who is
one to believe? Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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