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As ICP "UNredacts" Report on Sri Lanka, Hiding of Casualties Comes to Light

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 14 -- Why did the UN black out portions of its report on its actions and inaction in Sri Lanka, and then take the report off-line once asked about the redactions, by Inner City Press?

  Well, Inner City Press has re-posted the report as it appeared with redactions, and is going behind the redactions. The first one occurs on Page 11 in Paragraph 26. The material the UN blacked out, but is now being "liberated" by Inner City Press, appears in brackets, followed by an explanation.

26. Three days later, on 12 March, at a UNHQ meeting of the Policy Committee to discuss Sri Lanka [several USG participants and the RC did not stand by the casualty numbers, saying that the data were ‘not verified’. Participants in the meeting questioned an OHCHR proposal to release a public statement referencing the numbers and possible crimes.] The next day, after receiving a draft of the statement, the Chef de Cabinet, the USG-Humanitarian Affairs, and the RC all wrote to the OHCHR leadership urging that the statement be changed to exclude specific reference to the number of casualties and possible crimes and violations of international law by the Government."

  Inner City Press covered this at the time, in March 2009, and in fact obtained and exclusively published the casualty figures, click here for that.

  Those who urged that the figures not be made public with the "Chef de Cabinet" -- Vijay Nambiar, still with the UN on Myanmar -- and John Holmes, now out of the UN but defending it and himself.

  We will have more on the other redactions. Watch this site.

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