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UN: Sri Lanka


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On Sri Lanka, UN Now Tells ICP It May Release Report "In Days Or Weeks"?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 10 -- Now that the UN's Sri Lanka report is completed, why isn't it being released? Has Sri Lanka been given some sort of veto over it?

 After being told that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would have something to say about in September and hearing only a brief reference in one of his speeches, at the October 10 noon briefing Inner City Press asked, video here and embedded below

Inner City Press: yesterday, the Deputy Secretary-General spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations and he said as to this report, which he said is finished, that he has advised that it not be released until a part of it is implemented and, or at least as I understood, until Member States are comfortable with it. What is the benchmark? Could it be years until it is implemented? Does this involve Sri Lanka giving the green light to its release? Why wouldn’t this simply be released in the spirit of courage of speaking that he referred to? Thanks.

Associate Spokesperson: Well, first of all, in the spirit of courage of speaking, he actually, at that discussion, gave out quite a lot of the details of the report, as you will have noticed. So, he has been speaking out on this, and we will have, I think, more to say in, I believe, the days and weeks to come. I don’t think that this is a long wait, but there is a dialogue that is going on, and we will have something more to say about our follow-up to the work of the internal review panel. But, as you know, we put out the report of the internal review panel; Michael Keating has proceeded to follow up with this, and we will be able to say things about the follow-up work as they proceed. But, the Deputy Secretary-General yesterday in his discussion did discuss what the main priorities were about this particular effort and what things we seek to strengthen, including prevention, the protection of civilians and the need for faster action. And those are three priorities that we will try to uphold.

Meanwhile at the UN, Sri Lanka Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona, who played a role in the 2009 end game, is now the chair of the UN's Sixth (Legal) Committee. Yesterday a representative from Slovenia speechified about working with the chair -- Sri Lanka -- to put an end to mass atrocity crimes. Really?

 And now it's reported that protests will be banned in November when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting comes to Sri Lanka. Watch this site.


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