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Ban's Jarba Read-Out Trumps Prez of Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, of Oman Chairs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 1 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Saudi-sponsored Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba on September 28 at his (UN-provided) residence, it was not on the UN Media Alert. But afterward his spokesperson Martin Nesirky issued a 106 word read-out of the meeting.

  On September 30, Inner City Press asked Nesirky about al Jarba's meetings in and with the UN, and why Ban's meeting with this rebel (while not only rejecting but even targeting other rebels) was not in the UN Media Alert.

  After saying, "I don’t think you expect me to consider a copy of a letter that you send me to be my way of figuring out whether the Secretary-General received a letter or not," on this Nesirky replied "This was arranged at relatively short notice, and therefore, it did not figure in the Media Alert."

  But later on September 30 the UN sent out an update to that day's schedule, a Ban Ki-moon event opened at short notice: the donation by Oman of Four Chairs. So, it can be done.

  The pomp given to Jarba stands in contrast, for example, to the UN's approach to Tamils who came to the UN to deliver a letter to Ban Ki-moon about the killing of 40,000 of their people by Sri Lanka. In that case, a lower level Department of Political Affairs staffer was sent down to the lobby to take the letter. Inner City Press was told not to cover it, or the UN wouldn't even take the letter this way.

  Ban Ki-moon's read-out with Saudi-sponsored rebel Jarba was longer than those for a number of Presidents. Looking from September 24 forward with a focus on Latin America, consider:

For the President of Bolivia Evo Morales on September 24, Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson issues a read-out of 60 words -- compared to 106 words for the Saudi sponsored Syria rebel boss Jarba.

For the President of Chile Sebastian Piñera Echeñique on September 25, Ban's Office issued a read-out of 64 words.

On September 27 for the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Ban's Office of the Spokesperson issued a read out of 61 words.

By contrast, for Ban's September 26 meeting with Yun Byung-se, the foreign minister not president of South Korea, Ban's read out is over 200 words.

As noted, for Ban's September 20 meeting with Amama Mbabazi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, the read out was only 54 words, despite the upcoming UN Security Council trip to Uganda as well as the DRC, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

 For that, Ban's Office solicited journalists' request to go -- but then allowed colonial powerhouse France to handpick which correspondents could go. (Nesirky diplomatically referred to France at the September 30 noon briefing as the mission on the lead for the whole trip -- now, French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud is not even going on the trip. Some leader.)

And so, some wonder, particularly after his Saturday night meeting with Jarba, for whom does Ban Ki-moon work? Watch this site.


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