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UN: Sri Lanka


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Sri Lanka & DRC Raised at NY Event to End Rape in Conflict

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 12 -- While the UK sponsors the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, its Mission to the UN in New York held a session on June 12 called “Challenging perceptions of Masculinity and Engaging Men as Partners to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.”

After presentations from Arif Mehmood of Pakistan, where there were 869 so-called “honor” killings in 2013, and Pascal Akimana from Burundi, Suki Beavers of the UN Development Program showed a video about a survey of men about rape in six countries in Asia.

One of the countries was Sri Lanka, on which Yasmin Sooka recently produced a report on rapes by the Army. Sooka's two sessions in London were closed to the public and press, with no explanation why.

When she presented her report in New York at Canada's mission, Inner City Press asked to attend and was told by Patrick Travers, Senior Political and Public Affairs Officer, “Thank you for your inquiry regarding the meeting on sexual violence in Sri Lanka being held today in our Permanent Mission. As the meeting is closed, we will not be able to extend invitations to the press and have no comment at this time.”

On June 12, Inner City Press asked UNDP's Suki Beavers about rapes in Sri Lanka, and also about UN Peacekeeping not suspending support to the two units of the Congolese Army which committed 130 rapes in Minova in November 2012, for which a mere two soldiers have been convicted.

Suki Beavers said that the “Partners for Prevention” study breaks out data by country; she said she was not qualified to answer on the Minova rapes. She passed the question to another UNDP staffer, who praised the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy without explaining how it applies to, and is not being enforced on, the 130 Minova rapes. Where's the beef? Watch this site.

Footnote: while Suki Beavers cited UNDP's Strategic Plan(s) there was no mention of the mass layoffs pushed for by Helen Clark, and now opposed by staff union's UN system wide. Inner City Press has heard of new developments and will report them soon.


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