Lanka, As UN Haq Claims No Nambiar ICC Filing,
Russell Lee, Exclusive
February 23 -- With the UN accused of misstatements by Sri
Lanka's government, the UN spokesperson's office has claimed that
there is no filing with the International Criminal Court involving
chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, in the process telling media covering
Myanmar that an Inner City Press story is inaccurate.
spokesman Martin Nesirky was publicly asked Wednesday by Inner City
Press about his deputy Farhan Haq's statement that “the Inner City
Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint formally filed
at the International Criminal Court,” Nesirky did not answer, only
claiming “we spoke about that yesterday.”
Nesirky would not commit to seeking a response from Nambiar if the
descriptions of his involvement in Sri Lanka were accurate.
that, at 7 pm on February 22, Haq received a question about Inner
City Press' story about the ICC filing involving not only Sri Lanka
Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona but also Nambiar, and why
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not responded to calls, including
by Permanent Five and other members of the Security Council, to on
Myanmar replace Nambiar with a full time envoy.
Haq [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM
Question about Nambiar, ICC and Burma envoy role
is still the acting Special Adviser on Myanmar.
City Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint
formally filed at the International Criminal Court. Please ask the
ICC for anything more on that.
a full-time Special Adviser, Ban Ki-moon has been considering
that idea; there is nothing to announce for now.
on February 23 asked Nesirky the basis for Haq's statement that
“there has been no complaint formally filed at the International
Criminal Court.” On both February 22 and 23, Inner City Press told
Nesirky that the ICC filing had been widely reported in the
Australian press. Did the UN seek any retraction or correction from
the Sydney Morning Herald?
would only take a few questions on February 23 -- he used time
accusing Inner City Press of making noise with its laptop, which was
untrue -- so Inner City Press was unable to ask for the UN's response
to Sri Lanka's government's claim that Ban Ki-moon daily schedule for
February 23 is false, and that the UN has never even asked to meet
wth members of Mahinda Rajapaksa's Lessons Learnt &
UN's Ban & Nambiar, response to Haq & Lanka
statements, ICC not shown
today rejected reports that External Affairs Ministry
Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe and Attorney General Mohan Peiris were in
New York to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Deputy
Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera told the Daily Mirror that
the External Affairs Ministry Secretary was overseas on a private
visit and that, to his knowledge, there was no meeting scheduled
between the Attorney General and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
further rejected claims that the government had hindered the
UN Secretary Generals’ Expert Panel from contacting the local
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
are in constant contact with the UN Secretary General’s office and
they have not requested to meet with the LLRC. If they so wish they
can contact them through us or even directly”, he said.
of the LLRC told the Daily Mirror that any contact
between the panel and the LLRC would generally have to be through the
External Affairs Ministry. “The Commission has not been contacted,
normally however it is understood that any contact would have to be
made through the External Affairs Ministry; the Secretary Generals
office or the UN office in Colombo would have to contact them- but no
such contact has been made,” the representative said.
today that besides disallowing the UN Panel to visit Sri
Lanka the government had rejected the Secretary Generals offers for
those from the Panel to contact members of the LLRC through video
conferencing or written questions.
* * *
Ban to Meet with Sri Lanka AG, His Panel Undercut, No Nambiar
Russell Lee, Exclusive
February 22 -- Two months after UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon claimed that his Panel on Sri Lanka
could visit the country
due to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's “flexibility,” on February
23 Ban is now scheduled to meet in New York with Sri Lankan Attorney
Mohan Peiris and Secretary for External Affairs C.R. Jayasinghe,
Inner City Press learned late on February 22.
not traveled to Sri Lanka, even as its extended deadline approaches.
Inner City Press has reported exclusively that the Rajapaksa
government since Ban's December 17 statement has refused to allow
Ban's three person Panel to interview any Sri Lankan official, saying
that such officials will only speak with Ban's Executive Office of
the Secretary General.
offers of video conference between
his and Rajapaksa's Panel, or written questions, were rejected.
including in Ban's office, feels this totally undermines the Panel on
Accountability that Ban set up, they say apparently Ban has given in,
as reflected by Wednesday's meeting. We'll see.
UN's Ban & M. Rajapaksa, Panel(s) & Nambiar not shown
February 22, Inner City Press asked
Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky:
Press: I wanted to ask you a non-Libya question.
By all means. Make a change.
Press: Sure. There was a filing
over the weekend on, with the
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)…
Start again, please.
Press: Yeah, there was a filing with the Prosecutor of the ICC
that has been widely reported in the Australian media. It’s
largely against the [Permanent Representative] of Sri Lanka, saying
that he should be prosecuted. But it has a couple of paragraphs, one
which says there is a basis to question whether Vijay Nambiar was in
fact an innocent neutral intermediary. And then it has a factual, a
paragraph that it says is facts, saying that Nambiar, through the
UN’s 24-hour dispatch, told Colvin that Mahinda Rajapakse, Gotabaya
Rajapakse and Palitha Kohona had assured Nambiar that the LTTE
[Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] members who surrendered would be
treated like normal prisoners of war if they hoisted a white flag
high. I wanted to know what the UN’s response to this now, why the
reported filing? Is that an accurate statement of fact and what’s
the UN’s response to the characterization?
Well, first of all, the filing is as reported in the
Press: : No, no, the file; I can give you a copy of the filing
if you want it, it’s public, it’s been made public by two Tamil
organizations that filed it with [Luis Moreno] Ocampo’s Office. It
was picked up in Australia, I guess because of the Kohona angle, but
I just want to know, since Mr. Nambiar is the Chief of Staff of the
UN, what is the response to the characterization of him as possibly
involved and the factual statement of him conveying these assurances
from the President of Sri Lanka?
Well, a couple of points. The second is that I think you
would need to check with the International Criminal Court’s
Prosecutor about something that has been filed to the ICC Prosecutor. I
think you would need to look at that. Secondly, on the second
part of your question, I really don’t have any comment on that at
this time. Okay?
Press: [inaudible] what Mr. Nambiar…
I said I don’t have any comment on it at this time. Okay, all
right, thank you very much.
what the UN
called “inaudible,” Inner City Press asked Nesirky if he was even
going to try to get a comment or response from Mr. Nambiar.
Now -- will Nambiar be at the February 23 meeting? Watch