Lanka, Ban Claims UN Couldn't Assess Casualties, Leak Shows
April 27 -- On Sri Lanka,
UN “staff were not in the
position to assess” the number of casualties in 2009, Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky told the Press on
April 27, as they had to withdraw because the Government said
security could not be guaranteed.
as Inner City
Press reported and published on March 27, 2009, a detailed UN
document it obtained reported that the "minimum number of
documented civilian casualties since 20 January 2009, as of 7 March
2009 in the conflict area of Mullaitivu Region [is] 9,924 casualties
including 2,683 deaths and 7,241 injuries.”
leaked document, and here
for Inner City Press' report
exclusively published it.
to confirm its own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs casualty figures. It now appears, including based on
statements by staff who have since left the UN, that Ban's UN
consciously decided to withhold and once leaked deny the casualty
information it WAS in the position to compile.
27, when Inner City Press followed up on questions
it put to Ban the
previous day, said that this topic and others will now be reviewed
the UN, by Ban and his senior advisers.
asked Nesirky if Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, who was involved
in the White Flag killings which appear in the UN report at Paragraph
171, will be one of the senior advisers involved in the review.
“There are many
senior advisers,” Nesirky said, adding that the review “will look
at the full range of topics contained” in the report.
remains: should a senior adviser like Nambiar be allowed to play any
role in the review of an incident he was involved in? The answer
should have been, and should be, no -- but hasn't been.
Ban takes Qs April 26, Sri Lanka not shown in UN
asked if this review will be made public. Nesirky would not say, but
acknowledged that there is a public interest in it. With 40,000
civilians reportedly killed, yes there is a public interest.
Ban said he “is advised” that the report's recommendations can
only be investigated if the Rajapaksa government consents or members
states vote for it in an intergovernmental forum, Ban when he
reported on Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council on April 26 did not
even ask them to schedule a vote on the recommendation for an
investigation of war crimes. We'll have more on this.
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