Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


ICP on YouTube

Video on NY Times

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN to Get Peacekeeping Advice from Alleged War Criminal, Says Ban Powerless

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 30 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cannot or will not do or say anything to stop alleged war criminal Shavendra Silva from serving on Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operation, Ban spokesperson Martin Nesirky answered Inner City Press on January 30.

  Acts of Shavendra Silva's battalion in 2009 are described in the UN's own Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka -- for example in paragraphs 73, 90 and 171, shelling hospitals and killing those seeking to surrender -- and lawsuits have been filed against Silva for war crimes. In September 2011, Inner City Press asked Silva about them, click here for that story.

  Isn't Ban at least concerned about how it makes his UN look, making Sri Lanka's Silva an adviser on peacekeeping, including in light of the UN's failure to report any discipline of Sri Lankan "peacekeepers" repatriated from Haiti after being charged with sex with underage girls?

  At Monday's UN noon briefing, Nesirky told Inner City Press to ask the Asia group about Silva's nomination to the Advisory Group, and to ask Silva's Sri Lankan mission if the more than 100 repatriated soldiers were ever disciplined.

  Far from a UN of accountability, this seems to some to be nothing but passing the buck. We have asked others and aim to have more on this.

Ban greets Silva - did Asia Group make Ban do it? (c) MRLee

From the UN's transcript of its January 30 noon briefing:

Inner City Press: on Saturday, I got an answer from your office [on] Mr. Shavendra Silva, whose battalion is named in the Secretary-General’s report on Sri Lanka, was called an alleged war criminal... is there any discretion, number one, on the Secretary-General’s part in terms of accepting a regional group’s nominee to his, to Ban Ki-moon’s Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations if there are these charges pending? And whether or not that is the case, I have asked you before, but whether the UN can state whatever happened to the Sri Lankan peacekeepers that were repatriated from Haiti after charges of sex with underage girls, were they disciplined, this also going to the question of whether taking advice from Shavendra Silva is a good idea for the UN’s credibility?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, on the latter point, I think that’s something that you need to check with the Sri Lankan authorities. On the first point, the answer to your question was in the answer you received. It is simply the case that the General Assembly instructed the Secretary-General to establish this senior adviser group, and the General Assembly stipulated that the membership should comprise five representatives nominated by troop-contributing countries, five nominated by financial contributors and one representative named by each of the five regional groups. And as you well know, this particular individual was nominated by the regional group concerned — Asia. So the General Assembly instructed the Secretary-General to establish this senior adviser group. And so, the Secretary-General’s responsibility himself relates to the five eminent persons that he was asked to select himself, and that does not include the person you have mentioned. The person you have mentioned was nominated, selected, by the regional group, and that’s fully in line with the General Assembly resolution that covers this.

Inner City Press: does the Secretary-General have any views of having as an adviser the individual named in his own report, did he like the idea, for example, of Syria being denied a seat on the Human Rights Council given the issues raised, does he think it is good for the UN’s reputation and credibility that automatic and clean slates or referrals like this? Does he have any comment at all or is he going to accept it and it is going to go forward?

Spokesperson: Well…

Inner City Press: I understand what he said, I just…

Spokesperson: Well, evidently not because it is a matter for Member States. And I think that you’re knocking at the wrong door. If you have the view or you are conveying the view that you’ve just expressed…

Inner City Press: Many say so.

Spokesperson: Well, yeah, they may do, but many — if that’s the case — would need to address it to the Member States in the General Assembly, because if there is a resolution from the General Assembly, the Secretary-General needs to carry out that mandate. It is as simple as that. And as you well know, the five people nominated by the Secretary-General do not include the person that you have mentioned. That person was selected by the Asia Group of countries. And I think you would perhaps need to mention it to them. It is a general point that — and to come back to the point you raised about the other areas, including Syria and the Human Rights Council — this is something for the Member States, they decide that. It is not for the Secretary-General to decide. Yes?

Share |

Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2011 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]