UN, Vietnam Is Asked About Beaten Monks, Says No Grounds To Bring It
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 16 -- Nearly three weeks after some 400 Buddhist
monks in Vietnam were evicted and beaten, and Vietnam took over the
Presidency of the UN Security Council, on October 16 Inner City Press
asked Vietnam's Ambassador and Council President Le Luong Minh about
the incident. Video here,
from Minute 3:09.
Minh at first look puzzled, then smirked. Inner City Press explained
the "hook" to the Security Council, a report that
"supporters are also asking the U.S. ambassador to the United
Nations to help them arrange a meeting with Vietnam's U.N.
Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice was present in the Council on Friday,
when Inner City Press asked if the matter had been raised, Le Luong
Minh said "no one has raised it, and there are no grounds for
anyone to raise it."
admittedly a larger number, were cracked down on in Myanmar, the
matter was quickly raised in the Security Council, and Myanmar is now
on the Council's agenda. There are other less than reasonable
exclusions from the Council's agenda, such as the tens of thousands
of ethnic Tamils killed in Sri Lanka earlier this year. But when
events like this take place in a country holding the presidency of
the UN Security Council, it should not be surprising that they are
Viet Nam's Ambassador with paper, answers not shown
five countries ran for and won seats of the Security Council. When
Inner City Press asked
Brazil's Ambassador if she envisioned bringing
up Honduras in the Council when she joins it in January, if it is
still needed, she referred only to "regional organizations."
Nigeria's foreign minister if Nigeria would like to bring
up Guinea in the Council, he also referred to regional
When Ban Ki-moon on October 16 announced a UN inquiry into the
killings and rapes in Guinea, Inner City Press asked his spokesperson
if the inquiry had the consent of the government, as the UN implied
would be necessary in Sri Lanka. His spokesperson replied that a
regional organization had asked for the Guinea inquiry.
condemn many victims to suffer in silence. While often the Council
accomplishes little for those on its agenda, it does let a government
know it is being watched. In the case of Vietnam, the response was
just a smirk. And so it goes at the UN.
* * *
Sawers Explains Leaving Sri Lanka Off UN Council Agenda, on LRA No
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 4 -- The UN Security "Council has to take
decisions on each country on its merits," outgoing UK Ambassador
to the UN John Sawers told the Press on Tuesday. Inner City Press had
asked Sawers to explain why, despite saying that he had the votes to
put Sri Lanka on the Council's agenda, the choice was made to keep
the issues of civilian casualties and now detentions on the margin of
the Council, in the UN basement, for the sake of Council unity.
"There is always a judgment to be made," Sawers answered,
"was to whether Council unity at a moderate level of agreement
is better than division on a more ambition level of agreement."
from Minute 32:08.
under Sawers put sanctions on Zimbabwe to a vote in the Council,
foreseeing and obtaining a double veto from China and Russia. On Sri
Lanka, it never pushed for vote, even though on procedural matters
such as additions to the Council's agenda no country has a veto.
decision during the
of Sawers and France's Jean-Maurice Ripert, who is also leaving this
month, will continue to be reviewed as internment continues in Sri
Lanka, the press is barred from covering the supposed elections in
the North, and investigations into the killing of aid workers are
called off, the govern exonerating itself.
UK's Sawers and France's Ripert: ils son va,
Sri Lanka not on Council agenda
also asked Sawers what the Council's plan is, if any, to deal with
the Lord's Resistance Army, which in recent days made deadly
incursions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into the Central
African Republic and Southern Sudan. Video here,
from Minute 31:44.
latter, Sawers appeared
to conflate the documented LRA attacks with the separate tribal
conflicts on which, he said, UN Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy would
brief the Council later Tuesday. Sawers acknowledged of the LRA
that the "Council needs to address" to issue, after the
"exhaustive efforts of former president Chissano." But what
is the plan?
questions ranging from Iran -- a topic on which he's said less and
less to the media after being named the head of the UK's intelligence
agency MI6 - to Afghanistan. On the latter, no one asked Sawers to
statements of his minister David Miliband and the UN's Kai
Eide, who critiqued Miliband's call for talks with Taliban "local
commanders." Eide said they are not important enough. But who
does Eide work for?
deflected a question about reports that Myanmar may have a nuclear
program supported by North Korea, saying he would take the
correspondent's scheduling suggestion under advisement. Sawers got
his hackles up with a South Asian correspondent wondered why the UK
doesn't give helicopters to the UN and African Union Mission in
Do you think
Sudan would accept them from us, Sawers
pointedly asked. The correspondent persisted until Sawers said, we've
had enough on that. He noted that the Rwandan contingent in Darfur
still has its APCs trapped in Port Sudan. The "heavy lift"
air support the U.S. bragged of was not mentioned.
The partying for the departure of Jean-Maurice Ripert has already
begun. On August 3, La Francophonie threw him a bash. Now Ripert is
organizing his own farewell, seeking to invite the UN Security
officers who went on the Council's
African forays. Will the officer
who shot through the UN plane in Goma last year, leading to a bus
ride to Kigali, be invited?