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Sri Lanka Wants All Information from NGOs, Frustration with UN's Quiet Diplomacy

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

FRANKFURT, May 22 – In the last of the UN Security Council's closed door basement meetings on Sri Lanka, the UN's top humanitarian John Holmes told Council members about a proposed Memorandum of Understanding the Rajapaksa Administration wants non-governmental organizations to sign. When Inner City Press asked Holmes to explain on camera the problems with the agreement, he declined.

NGOs contacted Inner City Press and complained that they were ill-positioned in Sri Lanka to stand up for changes to the proposed MOU. They expected the UN, specifically Holmes' OCHA, to do so. It has yet to happen.

Inner City Press has obtained a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding and is putting it online, below. Among other things, it would require NGOs to allow the government access to all information, as summarized by a senior UN official who spoke to the press on condition he not be named. Why isn't the UN fighting this precedent?

UN's Ban and Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa: sign on the dotted line

Here is the draft agreement:



THE SECRETARY TO THE MINISTRY OF ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (hereinafter referred to as “The Ministry”) OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA (hereinafter referred to as “The Government”)


THE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..( The Official title of the INGO / NGO) (hereinafter referred to as “The Partner Organization”)


  1. GIVEN that the Ministry has requested assistance from The Partner Organisation to meet the basic needs of the INTERNALLY DISPLACED SRI LANKANS (hereinafter referred to as “IDSL”) in the Wanni

  2. GIVEN that the assistance requested by The Ministry falls well within the domain of Humanitarian assistance for which purpose The Partner Organisation has committed and has come to the Government under the auspices of the Government (GOSL) that seeks cooperation from willing partners in a spirit of solidarity to address the multi-faceted needs of IDSL

  3. GIVEN that The Ministry and The Partner Organisation involved in this project have agreed to fully cooperate and act in consultation with each other during the establishment and implementation of this project, which is to assist IDSL in the manner and in accordance with the implementation procedures and responsibilities described in the project documentation and in the related Project Description attached as Annex A to this Agreement, its related Budget and work plan respectively set out in Annex B and C of this Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”);

  4. GIVEN that ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………(specify the type of assistance i.e. funds, material or advocacy) have been made available to the Project in the amount stated in the Basic Project Data for the purpose specified in the Annexes to this Agreement; and

IT IS HEREBY AGREED BY THE PARTNER ORGANISATION AND THE MINISTRY (hereinafter both collectively referred to as “the Parties”) AS FOLLOWS:



Agree to fulfill the respective obligations as set out in this Agreement and implement the Project described in Annex A, in accordance with related Annexes B and C

Article 2 – Project Details

2.1 Basic Project Data

  1. Project Symbol and Title:

  2. Location:

  3. Effective Commencement Date:

  4. Operational Time Frame:

  5. Planned Completion Date:

  6. Reporting periods: (Quarterly reports are required unless otherwise agreed)

2.2 Total Project Requirements:

  1. Cash in local currency:

  2. Cash in (other) convertible currency:

  3. In-Kind (Estimated value and the types of in kind assistance)

d). List of funding sources.

Note : Recognizing the need to monitor financial commitments against implementation, regular financial reporting will be provided (as per Article 2.1. f) showing expenditures against agreed budgets by donor source, and work plans . All variances will be explained.

2.3 Financial Participation towards Total Project Requirements (state currency):

  1. Cash(est. value) :

  2. In-Kind (est. value) :

  3. The Partner Organisation :

  4. The Ministry :

  5. List of donor sources, and where available, funding/payment schedules


3.1 The term of this Agreement shall commence on the day the Agreement is signed, or the date the project commenced whichever is earlier, and shall end on the planned completion date. The project shall commence and be completed in accordance with the time frame or schedule set out in the Basic Project Data (Article 2)

    1. Should either Party during the implementation of the Project consider that a revision of any Terms of this Agreement or the Annexes thereto becomes advisable, including its extension beyond the planned termination date indicated in Article 2, then such a revision shall be made prior to the expiration of the Agreement and only with the written consent of the Parties.


4.1 Responsibilities of the parties

4.1.1 The Parties agree to carry out their respective responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, as described in Annex A, and in accordance with related Annexes B and C, and in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. which have been communicated in writing to the Agency before the commencement of this Agreement.

4.1.2 The Ministry shall make available the necessary support and assistance to implement the Project in accordance with this Agreement,. who the Agency may, but is not obliged to, use to support the Project in accordance with this Agreement..

4.1.3 The Partner Organisation shall recruit the most essential human resources to implement the Project in accordance with this Agreement, namely the respective employees / persons as the project staff (hereinafter referred to as the Partner Organisation Personnel) whose salaries and benefits are given in the Project budget (Annex B). All Project employees shall be Sri Lankan Nationals except for certain positions of the Partner Organisation required as per nature of the project and/or donor’s requirements. In such external recruitment, The Partner Organisation shall provide to the Ministry specific Job Descriptions of the position, required academic and professional profile of the person that is required to be externally recruited for the specific position.

      1. The Partner Organisation shall disclose and indicate under appropriate budget lines of the project budget (Annex B) all the payments, charges, consultancy fees, service charges, honoraria, travel and daily subsistence allowances and Partner Organisation HQ expenses that would be charged to the project.

4.1.5 The Partner Organisation shall make available to the Ministry a copy of the annual audited donor accounts to verify that all committed funds have been expensed on the project as per this Agreement.

4.2 Responsibility of Claims:

4.2.1 Either party does not accept any liability for claims arising out of the activities performed under this agreement, or any claims for death, bodily injury, disability, damage to property or other hazards that may be suffered by The other party as a result of their work pertaining to the Project. Either party shall be responsible for dealing with all claims brought against it by their/ its respective employees. It is further understood that adequate medical and life insurance for the Partner Organisation personnel, as well as insurance coverage for service incurred illness, disability or death, are the responsibility of the Partner Organisation.

4.3 Recruitment of Staff, Terms and Conditions of Partner Organisation and the Ministry Personnel:

4.3.1 The Partner Organisation undertakes to be bound by the terms and obligations specified under the relevant Labour Laws of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and shall accordingly ensure that the recruitment of staff, terms and conditions of those performing Project-related activities and under the Agency’s control and direction under the present Agreement comply with the legal obligations of the Country.

4.3.2 Partner Organisation personnel shall refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on the Ministry and the Government, and in doing so, shall operate in accordance with codes of conduct which are compatible with the humanitarian guiding principles and the laws and regulations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka with the aims and objectives of the project that is to provide humanitarian assistance to the IDSL without discrimination.

4.3.3 Information that may compromise the mutual trust between The Ministry and the Partner Organisation shall not be used by the Partner Organisation for individual profit or political advantages. Information can be provided to Donors in accordance with Partner Organizations contractual obligations. This obligation shall not lapse upon termination of this Agreement unless agreed between the Parties. In the event of the violation of this clause, the Ministry reserves the right to seek remedial measures through appropriate legal means available to it.

4.4 Personnel not to benefit:

4.4.1 The Parties to this Agreement shall guarantee that no personnel of the Ministry or the Partner. Organization, has been or will be offered any direct or indirect personal benefit arising from the implementation of this agreement except for what is included under the project budget.

4.5 Use of Assets:

4.5.1 Where the Partner Organisation provides a right of use of assets and physical structures under this Agreement, this will be specified in a separate Agreement entitled “ The Agreement for the Receipt and the right of Use of ………………………..(place the name of the Partner Organisation) Assets” (hereinafter referred to as the “Right of Use Agreement”). Assets shall be defined as any item of property valued at US$500 or more per unit, or the equivalent in local currency at the official rate of exchange, and having a serviceable life of at least five years and brought into the project regardless of its funding source or user, including in-kind donations, vehicles and boats, plant, telecommunications, computer and security equipment, elsewhere termed “special items” shall be regarded as assets irrespective of their acquisition value by the provisions set out in this Agreement. Subject to the nature of the project, an inventory of all needs for assets will be maintained by the Partner Organization and will remain available on request.

4.5.2 Assets provided or financed by the project funds shall remain the property of the Partner Organization during implementation and upon completion of the Project or upon termination of this Agreement, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the Partner Organisation. The Partner Organization shall be responsible for the proper custody, maintenance and care of all equipment. (The Partner Organisation shall obtain insurance against damage, loss, theft and third party liability.) Funds received from insurance claims are to be credited to the corresponding Project account. Disposal of assets provided or financed by the project funds shall be carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Partner Organization and/or Donor and with the concurrence of the Ministry.

4.5.3 If the ownership of assets is transferred to the Project after termination of this Agreement, this shall be affected on the basis of an Agreement on the Transfer of Ownership of Agency Assets.

4.6 Procurement of Goods and Services

4.6.1 The Policy of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka is to limit international procurement of goods and services as it believes that all supplies and services, including specialized services that are required for its Humanitarian Programme of Assistance can be purchased / obtained locally within the country. Those occasions when the Partner Organisation has demonstrated a clearly proven advantage, such as awareness of local conditions and/or specific technical expertise, the Partner Organisation will carry out such international procurement in accordance with the accepted procurement principles of the Partner Organisation and in accordance with the relevant donor policies and procedures and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

4.6.2 Only under exceptional circumstances, and with the prior agreement of the Ministry, may a Contract for purchases of goods and/or services be concluded with other departments of the Agency that is signatory to this Agreement.

4.6.3 The procurement of goods and services by the Partner Organisation will adhere to the relevant donor policies and procedures and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

4.7 Other Expenses

4.7.1 Either party hereto shall not be liable for the payment of any expenses, fees or any other financial cost or expense of the other party not included in this Agreement, unless such party has explicitly accepted such liability prior to the expenditure.


5.1 Provision of services, staff, labour force, their salaries and wages:

5.1.1 The Partner Organisation shall undertake the implementation of the Project as set out in Annex A by making available the advisory services, technical support services and the staff and the labour force whose salaries and benefits are included in the attached project budget (Annex B).

5.2 Customs

5.2.1 The Ministry shall make every effort to assist the Partner Organisation in clearing all equipment and supplies foreseen and necessary for the implementation of this Project through customs at places of entry into the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

5.3 Ministry Participation:

5.3.1 The Ministry shall endeavor to participate in the Project as defined in Article 2.3.d) and 4.1.2.

5.4 Use of Land:

5.4.1 As a part of the Ministry’s contribution, The Ministry shall make available to the Project, adequate land as may be required in the furtherance of the objectives of the Project as stated in the Project description (Annex A). The Ministry shall also ensure that the beneficiaries of the Project are extended rights to land as citizens of Sri Lanka.

5.5 Facilitation of Travel of Partner Organisation Personnel:

5.5.1 Subject to security considerations and the needs of the project, The Ministry shall facilitate the travel of The Partner Organisation personnel involved in the implementation of the Project, and ensure that it is unhindered with unrestricted access to the Project site.


6.1 Remittances and Donations:

6.1.1 The Partner Organisation shall remit funding to its designated bank account as stated in the Basic Project Data, or in case of in kind donations, the Partner Organisation shall deliver the agreed goods/items to the location agreed in order to initiate programming with ten working days of signing this Agreement.

6.1.2 The Partner Organisation shall, thereafter , make sure that funds remain available in its designated bank account commensurate with the progress of the Project and in accordance with the Project’s liquidity status as evidenced by Project Financial Reports. A forecast of indicative cash requirements by source has been agreed and stated in the Basic Project Data of Article 2.

6.2 Use of Funds:

6.2.1 The Partner Organization shall utilize Partner Organization’s funds towards the cost of implementing the Project in accordance with the Project Description and Budget (Annexes A and B.)

6.3 Inspection and Audit:

6.3.1 The Partner Organization shall nominate a legally accredited audit firm for the purpose of auditing the project.

6.4 Additional Partner Organisation Participation:

6.4.1 The Partner Organisation shall endeavor to raise contributions, in cash or in kind, to meet the aims and objectives of the Project and which add to the value stated in the Basic Project Data (Article 2) and as described in the Project Description and Budget annexed hereto. In the event of raising such additional resources for the project, the Partner Organisation will keep the Ministry informed of any additional funding by source, and where available in support of the project under this agreement.

6.5 Taxation and Customs:

6.5.1 The Partner Organisation shall be fully exempt from any tax liability for the Project Budget as set out in Annex B (in terms of Section 102 of the Inland Revenue Act no 10 of 2006 and Section 96A of the Inland Revenue Act no: 38 of 2000) being a Emergency Relief Project approved by the Minister as being humanitarian in nature.

6.6 Importation Documentation:

6.6.1 The Partner Organisation shall ensure that all customs and registration documents, licenses and operating permits which may be required for the importation of Project supplies and the operation of equipment will be applied for in ample time prior to the forecasted importation date in order to avoid delays at the port of entry. The Partner Organisation shall indicate to the competent authorities that the Project supplies are bought with funds raised for the project and such supplies are part and parcel of the project. The Ministry shall assist the Agency in obtaining customs and registration documents, licenses and operating permits which may be required.

6.7 Assignment and Sub-Contracting:

6.7.1 In the event the Partner Organisation requires the services of another partner organization and sub-contractor other than those specified in the Project Document (Annex A), it shall obtain the prior written approval of The Ministry for all such arrangements as defined in the Project Description. The Partner Organisation shall be fully responsible for all work and services performed by these operational partners and sub-contractors, and for all acts and omissions committed by them or their employees in relationship to the implementation of this agreement. The approval of The Ministry of another operational partner and subcontractor shall not relieve the Partner Organisation of any of its obligations under this Agreement. The terms of any arrangement with another operational partner and sub- contractors shall be subject to and conform to the provisions of this Agreement.

6.8 Use of Partner Organisation Logo:

6.8.1 The Partner Organisation is granted the right to use its registered visibility logo and that of its donors and sub contractors (as specified in the Project Document under Annex A). Any other logo external to The Partner Organisation shall not be used by The Partner Organisation. Use of any other logo shall be approved by the Ministry.

6.9 Responsibility of the Partner Organisation for Partner Organisation Personnel:

6.9.1 The Partner Organisation shall be fully responsible for all services performed by the Partner Organisation personnel as defined in this Agreement and the annexes attached hereto.

6.9.2 Partner organizations are encouraged to coordinate programme initiatives with all other implementing partners and government to ensure effective and coordinated implementation of projects. If further instruction is required under this current agreement, then this should be sought from the Ministry or any other designated competent authority of the Government.

6.10 Status of Partner Organisation Personnel:

6.10.1 The Partner Organisation personnel are subject to the laws of the Democratic Socialist Republic Sri Lanka. They are not covered by the privileges and immunities specified in Article V, Section 18, of the Convention on the privileges and immunities of the United Nations of 13 February 1946.

6.10.2 Partner Organization personnel shall not be considered in any respect as being staff members of the United Nations Organization and/or its any member/affiliated Partner Organisation or as having any other contractual link with any other Political or Diplomatic Mission based in Colombo or elsewhere in the World.

6.11 Compliance with the Law of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka:

6.11.1 The Partner Organisation shall, at its own expense, comply with all laws and regulations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and assume all liabilities and obligations imposed by any law or regulation with respect to its performance under this Agreement.


7.1 Copyrights, Patents and other Proprietary Rights:

7.1.1 The Ministry and the Partner Organization are entitled to their own intellectual property and other propriety rights including but not limited to patents, copyrights and trademarks, with regard to products or documents and other materials which bear a direct relation to or are produced or prepared or collected in consequence of or in the course of the execution of this Agreement. The Ministry and the Partner organization agree to make available each others intellectual property and proprietary rights on request.

7.2 Confidentiality:

7.2.1 The confidentiality of any information pertaining to any beneficiary or group of beneficiaries of the Project shall be respected at all times. The contents of any such files, including computerized databases, can only be released to persons duly authorized to receive such information by the Ministry (and the Government) and the Partner Organisation.

7.2.2 All maps, drawings, photographs, plans, estimates, documents and all other data compiled by or received by the Partner Organisation under this agreement shall be used to further the organizations mandate in the provision of support and assistance to displaced populations.

7.2.3 Partner organizations will only use information obtained by reason of association with this project to support its mandate and for purposes of mutual learning and understanding of the plight of displaced populations. At no time shall the Partner Organization use such information for personal advantage or political gain These obligations do not lapse upon termination of this Agreement. The violation of this confidentiality clause will permit The Ministry to seek appropriate legal means to redress its grievances caused by such violations.

7.3 Force majeure and other Change in Conditions:

7.3.1 If during the period covered by this Agreement, The Partner Organisation is prevented from carrying out its obligations referred to in the Agreement, this fact shall be reported to the Ministry who shall decide with the Partner Organisation what arrangements, if any, shall be made to further implement or curtail the Project.

7.3.2 Should the number of beneficiaries, for whom assistance was foreseen under the Project significantly change from the number originally envisaged, or if for any reason, changed circumstances reduce or increase the need for assistance in the amounts as originally foreseen, The Partner Organisation shall be immediately informed so that, after mutual consultation, the Ministry can adapt its participation in the Project to the new situation or recommended to discontinue it as the circumstances may warrant.

7.3.3 In the event of, and as soon as possible after the occurrence of, any cause constituting force majeure, the Partner Organisation shall give notice and full particulars in writing to the Ministry of such occurrence or change if the Partner Organisation is thereby rendered unable, wholly or in part, to perform its obligations and meet its responsibilities under this Agreement. The Parties shall consult on the appropriate action to be taken, which may include termination of the Agreement with either party giving to the other at least thirty days written notice of such termination.

7.4 Amicable settlement:

7.4.1 The parties shall use their best efforts to settle amicably any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of this Agreement or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof. Where the Parties wish to seek such an amicable settlement through conciliation, such conciliation shall take place in accordance with the Laws of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka or according to such other procedure as may be agreed upon between the Parties in line with specific donor agreements. Any donor conditions that effect this project should be shared and made available on request.

7.5 Arbitration

7.5.1 Any dispute, controversy or claim between the Parties arising out of this Agreement or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof, unless settled amicably in accordance with Article 7.4 above within thirty (30) days after receipt by one Party of the Party’s request for such amicable settlement shall be referred by either party to arbitration in accordance with the Laws of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka or in accordance with legal obligations under specific donor agreements. The venue of arbitration shall take place in Colombo in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

7.6 Early Termination

7.6.1 If the Partner Organisation or the Ministry refuses or fails to undertake any work or separable part thereof, or violates any term, condition or requirement of this Agreement, either party may terminate this agreement in writing with 30 days notice. Such termination shall relieve both parties from any further obligations under this Agreement or liability for compensation.

7.6.2 Should the Partner Organisation be adjudged bankrupt or be liquidated or become insolvent or should the Partner Organisation make an assignment for the benefit of its creditors, or should a Receiver be appointed on account of the insolvency of the Partner Organisation, The Ministry may, in consultation with the Government, and without prejudice to any other right or remedy it may have under the terms of these conditions, terminate this Agreement forthwith.

Article 8 – Compatibility of ProvisionS

8.1. The parties shall implement the provisions contained herein without prejudice to any Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding already entered into between the Partner Organisation and the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. In the event of any discrepancy the provisions stipulated in the Agreement/MOU already entered into between the Partner Organisations of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will prevail.

Article 9 – Annexes

Signature by the Partner Organisation and the Ministry of this Agreement constitutes formal approval of the Annexes listed below, the respective cover pages of which have been initialed by the parties upon signature.

Sub – Project Description set out in Annex A.

Sub – Project Budget set out in Annex B

Sub – Project Work Plan set out in Annex C.




Name :

Title :

Date :

Place :

Footnote / full disclosure: this reporter has been granted a visa, albeit for only two days, gratis by the Sri Lankan mission. A request for more than two days resulted in instructions to write a letter, which will be considered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “after a background check.” Watch this site.

And see, a May 13 Inner City Press debate on Sri Lanka, here

Ambulance aflame in "No Fire" Zone, May 13, 2009

In the final week of fighting we ran this message, from Dr. Sathiyamoorthy

13 May 2009

Dear Sir / Madam,

Heavy battle started since 5.30 am. Many wounded civilians were brought to hospital and hospital is not providing services because hospital was under shell attack. Few staff reported duty. nearly thousand patients are waiting to get daily treatment. But even simple wound dressing and giving antibiotics problems. So many wounded have to die. In the ward among patients many death bodies are there.

Looking hospital seen and hearing the civilians cry really disaster. Did they make any mistake do the world by the innocent. But the important sta[keholders] are just listening the situation and not helping the people.


Regional director of Health Services

Kilinochchi (Now at No Fire Zone)

  From the UN's May 18 noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: on Mr. Nambiar. Can you say whether while he is there the issue...there are some saying that there are many people that are now injured in the (inaudible) care in what had been called the no fire zone; and that the ICRC has no access. Is this something this in the case there some doctors who used to report on the casualty figures who have gone missing as reported in the Guardian and the Independent. Are these issues, I mean you mentioned he’s talking about the IDPs instead of post-conflict; what about people that are actually at this moment sort of dying without medical care...(interrupted)?

Deputy Spokesperson Okabe: Well, that’s the subject that I think John Holmes is going to come and talk to you about right now.

Inner City Press: Burt can you say whether Mr. Nambiar, I guess I am just wondering... -- John Holmes is not there, Mr. Nambiar is -- is this an issue that the UN is urgently raising with the Government or not?

Deputy Spokesperson Okabe: The Chef de Cabinet’s visit, as we mentioned to you, focuses exactly on the same issues that I just mentioned; which are the United Nations’ and the Secretary-General’s concern. Now, obviously the immediate humanitarian needs on the ground are the utmost priority for all of us.

But what about the doctors?

 On Thursday May 7, Inner City Press asked Associate UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about this invitation that’s been made to the Secretary-General to visit Sri Lanka. First I wanted to ask if on Monday when he met with the Ambassador of Japan, whether he was briefed on a visit by Mr. [Yasushi] Akashi to Sri Lanka and was urged by Japan that he should take this visit. And I also wanted to know whether he would be in New York 11 May for the Middle East debate, and 15 May to meet with the Chinese diplomats, that in fact this is one reason that he is considering not going, as I have been told by senior Secretariat staff.

Associate Spokesperson Haq: Well, first of all, we don’t announce the trips of the Secretary-General until they are close to occurring. And in that regard, I don’t have anything to announce about a trip to Sri Lanka at this stage. At the same time, as Michèle told you yesterday, and is still true for today, if the Secretary-General believes that visiting Sri Lanka can have an impact in terms of saving lives there, he will certainly try to go. So he is considering that. But part of what he is studying is what the impact of a potential trip would be.

Inner City Press: But if he had that belief, that would be without regard to attending the 11 May Middle East thing or the 15 May meeting with the Chinese diplomats? I am told that’s a major factor in his planning.

Associate Spokesperson: Scheduling is a separate issue. What we’re talking about is the decision of whether or not to go. And certainly if he can make a difference and can save civilian lives, which is what his priority has been on this case, then he will go. At present, we don’t have anything to announce at all in this regard, though.

Question: Just one last one on that. I wanted to know, can you at least confirm that he met with Ambassador Takasu on Monday in his office inside the Security Council? Can you give a read-out of that meeting and say why it wasn’t on his public schedule?

Associate Spokesperson: I can confirm that he met with the Permanent Representative of Japan. He did that, yes. It was in his office in the Security Council. We don’t provide readouts of meetings with ambassadors.

Question: And why wasn’t it on the schedule?

Associate Spokesperson: It came up all of a sudden when he had a bit of free time in between other appointments on a fairly hectic day.

  On Friday May 8, Inner City Press asked Deputy Spokesperson Okabe:

Inner City Press: On the invitation by the Government of Sri Lanka to the Secretary-General to visit, is there any progress in thinking? In the alternative, is the Secretary-General, is he considering invoking Article 99 or responsibility to protect or making some other move of some type on the situation in Sri Lanka?

Deputy Spokesperson: I have nothing beyond what we’ve been saying from this podium this week on Sri Lanka, including what the Secretary-General himself has said earlier this week.

   What Ban said did not involve calling for a cease-fire. Watch this site.

 Channel 4 in the UK with allegations of rape and disappearance

  Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

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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