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UN's Gambari Is Not Sure to Meet Than Shwe, Myanmar Refugees Are Sold Out as Courtesy by UNHCR

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 30 -- The UN on January 30 confirmed that envoy Ibrahim Gambari is traveling to Myanmar from January 31 through February 4. What they would not say, however, is who Gambari will meet with. Inner City Press asked if, unlike Gambari's last trip, he has an appointment with regime strongman Than Shwe. UN Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe said only, senior government officials. But how senior?

  Earlier in the month, Inner City Press asked for the UN's response to the National League for Democracy, that they will not discuss the planned 2010 election without discussion the 2008 constitution, adopted during the chaos after Cyclone Nargis. The UN does not want to answer that question publicly. Perhaps it will be like Gambari's last trip, with embarrassing questions piling up while the UN remain silent.

UN's Ban and Myanmar's Than Shwe, Gambari's new visit not shown

  This is a pattern with the UN. Agence France Presse of January 30 reports that the UN's refugee agency UNHCR refused to comment on the condition of teenage refugees from Myanmar held in Thailand, out of "courtesy" to Thailand's government. Inner City Press asked Ms. Okabe to confirm or deny the AFP account. Ms. Okabe said, you have yesterdays' hand-out. Yes, but is the AFP not true? Does UNHCR decline to tell the truth out of courtesy to governments? It wouldn't be the first time.

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

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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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