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Asked of Crackdown on Elsipogtog Fracking Protests, Anaya Cites Crisis, S. Dakota Symptom

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21 -- Amid Canada's crackdown on Elsipogtog First Nation protesters of shale gas fracking, Inner City Press at the UN asked first the spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on October 18, then UN indigenous rights rapporteur James Anaya on October 21.

Ban's spokesperson said he was aware of the "reports" of the crackdown, but had no comment. In a subsequent addition to the October 18 UN transcript, Ban praised natural gas. (Story and full quote here.)

On October 21 when Anaya held a press conference, he answered Inner City Press that he had just been in Canada, and cited a "crisis" there. He also praised some steps by the country, as he did of Nicaragua and, when asked by Inner City Press about South Dakota, the US. This is diplomacy.

Inner City Press asked, what can Elsipogtog First Nation do to put their treatment by the Canadian government on the radar of the UN? Anaya said he gets correspondence and looks into it, writes back and forth with governments.

  On the South Dakota case, the the-proposed sale of sacred land, ultimately the indigenous were able to raise money to buy the land themselves. Buy, Anaya said, it is symptomatic of land issues in the US not being resolved.

  "Ask the US about that," Anaya told Inner City Press. Well, Inner City Press has other questions already pending with the US Mission, about the UN support Congolese Army rape units, and US delaying of a visa to a diplomat from the State of Palestine.

Anaya was thanked by the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info, which in pursuing greater transparency by the UN system urges that hyperlinks be inserted in the type of reports that Anaya was citing on Monday. Anaya at least has a Twitter account or presence. FUNCA suggests that all special rapporteurs (and Special Representatives of the Secretary General) do the same, and be responsive and transparent.. Watch this site.


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