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Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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On Sri Lanka, As Ban Sends Report to Geneva, Lame Internal Review

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED* NATIONS, September 12 -- Months after a UN report documented presumptive war crimes by Sri Lanka, and negligence at best by the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon past 8 pm on September 12 announced he was belatedly transmitting the report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

  Earlier on September 12, Inner City Press had asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban had yet taken the time to see the graphic documentary depicting war crimes in Sri Lanka, "Killing Fields." Nesirky said he would check, but 11 hours later there was no answer, other than the announcement of transmittal.

  Inner City Press also asked Nesirky about a statement by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN Palitha Kohona the previous week, when the government's rebuttal to Killing Fields was shown in the UN (despite Killing Fields not having been shown in the UN - more on this including conflicts of interest anon.)

  Kohona told Inner City Press, "that's a question you should ask Mr. Nambiar," when asked about assurances given to surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders who were subsequently killed.

   (As reported in Sri Lanka, beyond Kohona's answers to Inner City Press, he wrote a text message conveying that the surrenderees should just come out -- they did, and were killed.)

  So Inner City Press asked Nesirky to make Nambiar available for the questions even Kohona said should be asked of Nambiar. Nesirky said he would check if Ban's seen Killing Fields but did not answer about Nambiar. When Pressed he said, "I think you know that answer to that question."

Silva, Pioli & Kohona, "Killing Fields" not shown in UN, conflicts anon

  So Ban's own chief of staff refuses to answer questions about witnessing or being involved in war crimes, that even Sri Lanka's Ambassador said "you should ask Mr. Nambiar." Meanwhile Ban appoints the former head of UNFPA to belatedly perform the review of the UN's own actions which the Panel suggested months ago.

  Inner City Press has been told that UNDP has been resisting transmittal of the report. Thoraya Obaid, while at UNFPA, was close with UNDP, and is unlikely to rock the boat in her review. She also pleaded to keep the UNFPA post, and will be unlikely to be critical of the Secretariat which can give her other jobs. Only at the UN.

* - with reporting from the UN.


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

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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

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