On Myanmar, Ban Ignores Quintana's Call for Inquiry,
Daewoo Win-Win Unanswered
on Myanmar, Critique of Nambiar, Plea for Refugees in Thailand, Council
November 9 -- In the months leading to Myanmar's
heavy election on November 7, the UN's supposed envoy to Myanmar
Vijay Nambiar was not in the country once. This was noted on November
9 at the UN by Thaung Htun, who called on Nambiar to belatedly “go
to the region” and try to gain entrance. “The UN need to
reactivate its role,” Htun told Inner City Press.
Htun was Gum
San Nsang, representing the Kachin National Organization, who said
darkly that the Kachin Independence Army will “no longer limit the
war to the jungle.” A self described Burmese journalist asked him
if that means “urban warfare,” but he would not elaborate.
asked about the plight of those who fled into Thailand to escape the
fighting between the government and elements of the Democratic Karen
Buddhist Army under Commander Saw Lah Pwe.
Secretary of the Karen National Union Zipporah Sein said they are
still in harm's way; the Burmese journalist opined that CNN's
reporting that the people had returned to Myawaddy was incorrect.
Khin Maung Nyein added that many people were taken back to the
Burmese border, then told to turn back, leaving them in “no man's
November 9, in front of the Security Council Inner City Press learned
that despite the fighting and refugee flow, the Council is unlikely
to hold a meeting this week or perhaps even next.
UN's Nambiar at Korean Pavillion at Shanghai Expo,
Myanmar not shown
The thinking of the
Western countries on the Council is that they want to wait to see if
Aung San Suu Kyi is in fact released. But what about the fighting and
fleeing? We'll see.
in front of the Security Council on November 9, Inner City Press
learned that Mexico had raised in closed door consultations the
escalating violence in Western Sahara. The Council's president for
November, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant, has been charged with conferring
with UN envoy Christopher Ross and others and coming up with a day
for a briefing. Meanwhile there have been deaths. Watch this site.
90 Day State of Emergency, UN & Ban Have No
7 -- After the Myanmar polls closed with light turn
out, and the
military government imposed a 90 day state of emergency
banning political gatherings, Inner City Press the UN spokesman
Martin Nesirky and the head of its Good Offices on Myanmar office
Vijay Nambiar for the UN's comment on the polls and state of
emergency. More that six hours later, there was not comment at all.
Nesirky's response on November 5 at the UN to Inner City Press'
request for description of what the UN system would do during the
polling. Did the UN observe anything? The UN didn't want to say
before the vote, during the vote, or for the hours after.
arrested an APF journalist for seeking to cover
the voting. “I saw volunteers at a polling station just falling
asleep because there was no one to attend to,” said
Htaung Ko Htan,
a Chin ethnic minority leader who visited between 20 and 25 polling
booths in the former capital of Rangoon, now called Yangon. “There
are very few people voting,” he said.
90 day state
of emergency would seem to call for a response from the UN, whose
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he “expects” a transparent and
inclusive election. Now, not only the NLD but other political parties
are barred from gatherings. But six hours later, no response at all.
UN's Ban & Nambiar in Shanghai, Nov 2010,
response to Myanmar 90 state of emergency not shown
briefing on November 5, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
I have some Sudan questions, but I wanted to ask about
Myanmar first because of the upcoming election on Sunday. It’s
been reported that the Government there is extending an invitation to
diplomats and UN representatives to tour polling stations on Sunday.
It’s also… that some diplomats have said that they won’t go on
the tour, but will make their own arrangements to make some
observation. I wanted to know, since the Government there forbid
outside election observers, but said it would ask the diplomatic
community, including the UN, to do it, what’s the UN intending to
do on election day in Myanmar?
me find out.
hopefully before the day, is that possible?
wouldn’t be a bad idea, yeah. Okay?
More than fifty hours
later, still no answer from the UN.
So Inner City Press asked Nesirky, his Deputy and VVijay Nambiar:
UN's comment on the 90 day state of emergency imposed on
Myanmar after the now completed voting (and, separately, on the
seemed that a description of UN activity in Myanmar during
the voting would be provided by the time the polls opened or at least
closed, would still appreciate the description requested (and
seemingly promised) on Friday.
hours later, no answer. Watch this site.
Update: 18 hours
-- with no mention of the reported 90 day state of emergency, and no
description of what the UN did during the polling...
* * *
By Matthew Russell Lee
the UN's own Special
Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana has called for a Commission of Inquiry
into crimes against humanity, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on
October 12 issued a report on human rights in Myanmar, A/65/367,
which did not even mention the Commission of Inquiry idea, or
Inner City Press asked Quintana to honestly assess the Secretary
General's performance on Myanmar. Quintana said “you cannot ask me
to tell him what to do,” but also acknowledged the absence of the
commission of inquiry idea or accountability from Ban's report.
Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar -- not with Ban, who
will however be in his office in New York on October 22 -- and
discussed not only the November 7 election but also “justice and
in Ban setting up a purported Panel of Experts into war
crimes in Sri Lanka which has no investigative powers, no
spokesperson and no presence, Inner City Press asked Quintana is this
is what he has in mind for Myanmar.
the “finding of facts” -- expliclitly NOT what Ban's
Sri Lanka panel is about -- but then diplomatically said that perhaps
the Sri Lanka panel is a model.
He also after
Inner City Press asked
about the plight of the Rohingya diplomatically thanked the Myanmar
military government for cooperating and allowing him to “meet
political prisoners” -- but not Aung San Suu Kyi.
view on multinational corporations' engagements
with the Myanmar junta, including Total, Toyota and South Korea's
Daewoo. Quintana said that corporations might become complicit.
Quintana on Oct 21 on accountability, Ban Ki-moon not shown
he was South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that
a Daewoo pipeline across Myanmar was a “win win” proposition. Inner
City Press has asked Ban's Spokesperson's Office to get from
Ban whether he still views it this way, without avail. Watch this
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
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
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.