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On Sri Lanka, Ban Said Give Rajapaksa Time for Own Inquiry, UNredaction Shows

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 14 -- It has become more clear why the UN blacked out portions of its report on its actions and inaction in Sri Lanka, and then took the report off-line once asked about the redactions, by Inner City Press.

  The final redaction in the report, from Paragraph 173, blacked out Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's position against an international review of Sri Lanka's killing, by his own report's calculation, some 40,000 civilians.

Inner City Press has re-posted the report as it appeared with redactions, and has gone behind the redactions. Here from Paragraph 173, the material the UN blacked out, but is now being "liberated" by Inner City Press, appears in brackets, followed by an explanation.

"the Secretary-General met with President Rajapaksa and urged him 'to uphold his commitment to establish an accountability process.' On 30 July the Policy Committee met again at UNHQ to address 'follow-up on accountability' in Sri Lanka. [Discussing whether or not the SecretaryGeneral should establish an international Commission of Experts, many participants were reticent to do so without the support of the Government and at a time when Member States were also not supportive. At the same time, participants also acknowledged that a Government-led mechanism was unlikely to seriously address past violations. The Secretary-General said that 'the Government should be given the political space to develop a domestic mechanism and that only if this did not occur within a limited time frame would the UN look at alternatives.] The meeting agreed"

So Ban Ki-moon, even after being advised that a Sri Lankan "Government-led mechanism was unlikely to seriously address past violations," said Rajapaksa should be given more space -- and time.

And as of November 2012, no one had been held accountable. In fact, one of the General most associated, including in Ban's report, with the killings in 2009, Shavendra Silva, was accepted by Ban Ki-moon as a UN "Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations."

(Ban told Inner City Press that this was a decision of member states; his head of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous outright refused to answer this or any other Press question.)

   On September 6, 2011, Silva appeared with Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona at a film screening in the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, fallout written up by the SLC, here.

   Ban through this spokesman Martin Nesirky said midday on Wednesday he'll be setting up a senior group to advise him. Inner City Press asked if Vijay Nambiar will be involved. Whatever the advice -- will Ban Ki-moon follow it? Watch this site.

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