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On Sri Lanka at HRC, Sudan's Math, Philippines' Review, UN Theater

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 15 -- At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, in speeches that flew by at cross purposes without response, the death of 40,000 civilians in 2009 and “Sinhalese Buddhist triumphalism” since, including attacks on mosques and on human rights defenders, were detailed.

  Sri Lankan minister Mahinda Samarsinghe bragged that his country has accepted 110, then 113, of the 210 recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review process.

  But what accountability has there been? Military figures responsible for many of the death have been sent to the UN as diplomats.

   Sudan claimed Sri Lanka accepted 210 recommendations. Call it Khartoum math. The Philippines called the Rajapaksas' response “heart-warming.”

   Recently families of the disappeared were blocked from traveling from Vavuniya to the UN in Colombo. In New York, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman how this is acceptable and was told there are other ways to get information to the UN.

   Ban Ki-moon recently accepted a whitewash report about Sri Lanka from Japan's Ambassador; repeated requests after that for a copy of the report were denied. Ban went on to praise the whitewash report when he was asked about Sri Lanka.

   NGOs got to speak. One of them, Human Rights Watch, has refused to disclose even what topics it raised to Ban Ki-moon during director Ken Roth's March 4 meeting with him. For more on Sri Lanka in the UN theater -- literally -- and continuation, click here. Watch this site.

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