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UN: Sri Lanka


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UN Bans Question About Sri Lanka Protest Of Its Ouster of ICP, Feltman Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 -- On February 19, Inner City Press was thrown out of the UN, on two hours notice, after having put critical questions to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Now Dujarric's Deputy Farhan Haq has refused for a second day to comment on a protest of the ouster, held at the UN Compound in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka. English; Tamil; UN Q&A Video. That is today's UN: UNaccountable.

Now Ban's UN won't even allow the question to be asked - and speaks for USg Jeffrey Feltman, that he will have no comment on how this thuggish behavior by the UN in New York plays in Sri Lanka, which the UN purports to care about. March 2 video here and embeddee below; UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: Yesterday, I'd asked you about a protest that took place at the UN compound in Jaffna.  And you'd said you had no comment on it. There's video of it.  Many people have said it seems strange, and they've looked at other comments your office has made on other protests.  The question is…

Deputy Spokesman:  And I… I continue…  Matthew, I continue… You called…

Inner City Press:  Right, what I'm asking is, when do you respond to a protest…?

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew, Matthew, Matthew.  You called this a question about Sri Lanka.  This is actually a question about yourself.  I have nothing to say about you and your particular thing.

Inner City Press:  It took place in Jaffna.  Have you seen it?  Mr. [Jeffrey] Feltman has seen it.  How does it relate to the work of the UN in Sri Lanka?

Deputy Spokesman:  It's a question for which neither I nor Mr. Feltman, by the way, have any comment.  Have a good day.

  This is a new low - including for Feltman. There is a video of the protest - of which senior UN officials have been made aware. Now what?

In a letter that gave Inner City Press only two hours, Ban's Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach told Inner City Press to surrender the key to its long-time shared office.

  That evening eight UN Security guards under Deputy Chief Michael McNulty physically threw Inner City Press and its laptop out onto First Avenue in below freezing weather, without a coat. Audio here; video as UN Security turns off Inner City Press' Periscope livestream, here.

   On February 22, UN Security official Matthew Sullivan told Inner City Press it could not even be signed into UN headquarters as a guest, it was Banned from all UN premises. Audio here.

  Since then Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta urged Gallach to reverse her decision, taken without one speaking to Inner City Press concerning its January 29 attempt to cover, to pursue its series on UN corruption under Ban, an event the UN Correspondents Association held in the UN Press Brief Room. Video of that event - used against Inner City Press with no opportunity to be heard.

  Business Insider was told, by an unnamed Gallach spokesperson, that it was fine to throw out a 10-year journalist at the UN without any opportunity to be heard, article here, and on Yahoo Finance.

A petition to restore Inner City Press to access to the UN, and to its office under its long-time but stripped Resident Correspondent accreditation, is here, with 675 signatures as February 29 and comments.

The DC-based Government Accountability Project, which defends UN and other whistleblowers, has written that the ouster of Inner City Press is “retaliatory in response to independent, critical journalism.” (Dujarric, who previously “lent” the UN Press Briefing Room to his native France's President Francois Hollande, said he disagrees with GAP.)

  Ban Ki-moon, whose “victory tour” of blood-soaked northern Sri Lanka Inner City Press covered and was never forgiven for by Ban's UN, was the target of a demonstration in Jaffa for the ouster of Inner City Press.

Handwritten signs at the Jaffna protest cited back to questions about Ban accepting a Sri Lanka war crimes suspect Shavendra Silva as one of his Senior Advisers on Peacekeeping, and another suspect Palitha Kohona's involvements with the UN including the White Flag Killings with Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.

  Inner City Press reported how Kohona got UNCA under current president Giampaoli Pioli to screen a war crimes denial film in the UN; Pioli has been Kohona's landlord but did not recuse himself or consult other UNCA member members including, at that time, Inner City Press (which quit and co-founded the Free UN Coalition for Access.)

  See photo here from the demonstration outside the UN compound in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.  There's video. An anonymous troll Twitter account which counts among its few followers Cristina Gallach, Stephane Dujarric, UNCA board members and Reuters' Lou Charbonneau says darkly this was not a spontaneous protest - whatever that means. The UN's Censorship Alliance. Haq on March 2:

On March 1 Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: on Sri Lanka, I wanted to ask you, there was a protest overnight, whatever the time difference is, at the UN compound in Jaffna by Tamils.  And I have to say, the protest was to restore full credentials to Inner City Press and open press.  You can find it, it was reported in Uthayan, which is a publication that was burned down repeatedly by the Government that's been spoken of from this podium.  So, I know that Stéphane [Dujarric] yesterday said he doesn't agree with the Government Accountability Project.  What is the UN's response to a protest at its compound in Jaffna on this topic of free press?

Spokesman Haq:  Matthew, I'm not going to comment on your personal case.

Inner City Press:  I'm asking about a protest of the UN.

Spokesman Haq:  I know that you're dealing with DPI [Department of Public Information].  While you’re…

Inner City Press:  I'm not dealing with the DPI.  They never spoke to me before they did it, and I'm asking you about a protest.  Do you have a comment?

Spokesman Haq:  I would have no comment on this, no.  Thanks.  And let's get to our guest.

But what does Ban care? He is, as usual, out of New York, on a trip in Spain where neither the King nor President is meeting with him. Ban will not even visit the headquarters of "his" MINURSO mission in El Aaiun since Morocco's King won't be there or let him.

  Beyond Ban's troubling ambivalence about war crimes, most recently for example in Yemen (which he has a pro-Saudi envoy) and Burundi (where his Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous is embroiled with the military, as it commits child rape as part of the UN mission in Central African Republic), a corruption scandal which Inner City Press is pursuing threatened to undermine Ban's plan to run for President of South Korea.

   Macao-based business man Ng Lap Seng, now under house arrest, bought a photo op with Ban, giving tens of thousands of dollars to the UN Correspondents Association, though South South News. (This is why Inner City Press sought to cover the January 29 event in the UN Press Briefing Room, openly Periscoping an event that was nowhere listed as Closed.)

Indicted Frank Lorenzo got South South News into the UNTV archives. Spokesman Dujarric has twice refused to explain this, despite being in charge of UNTV at the time.

   The UN's response has been to order an audit by its own Office of Internal Oversight Services into all UN deals with Ng's Sun Kian Ip Foundation and also-indicted Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation.

 Inner City Press has shown: Ban's wife and his adviser Vijay Nambiar, of Sri Lanka “fame,” were at the FOUNDING of this corrupt Global Sustainability Foundation. And Inner City Press after reporting this is thrown out of the UN?

   Even with Ban's UN, through Gallach's no due process decision, hindering its reporting, Inner City Press will have more on all this.


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