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On Malaysia, Ban Shifts from End Violence to Resolving Situation - Sri Lanka Style?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- Amid clashes in Malaysia, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on March 6 issued a fairly standard call to “end the violence.” But then the rebels' offer of a ceasefire was rejected by Malaysia's prime minister.

Inner City Press went to the UN's March 7 noon briefing and asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: yesterday, there was a statement by the Secretary-General about this violence in Malaysia, calling for an end to the violence and dialogue. Since then, it is reported that the Prime Minister of Malaysia has rejected a call for a ceasefire by the Philippines-based clan group sometimes called gunmen, sometimes called rebels, so I wonder, it said he is watching it closely, does he think that a ceasefire offer by one side should be taken by the other? How is the violence going to end other than a wipe-out of the group?

Spokesperson Nesirky: The statement says the same thing. He urges an end to the violence and encourages dialogue among all the parties for a peaceful resolution of the situation. That’s what he said [inaudible].

Inner City Press: That’s what I was trying to say, [inaudible], after he said that, now the Government of Malaysia has rejected the ceasefire, does he see that as inconsistent with his call? What does he think of it?

Spokesperson Nesirky: The Secretary-General stands by what he said yesterday.

   Well, maybe not. Because on March 8 Ban met with Malaysia's Permanent Representative and afterward issued a read out that didn't MENTION ending violence, but rather to resolving the situation. With violence? In miniature Sri Lanka style? Watch this site.

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