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On Sri Lanka, Ban Silent on Impeachment, Pillay Tells ICP Visit Still Her Plan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 18 -- The UN system's strange and some say shameful relation with Sri Lanka has been on display this week.

  When Inner City Press asked the UN for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's view or comment on the impeachment of the Chief Justice and of Saudi Arabia's execution of Sri Lankan migrant maid Rizana Nafeek, Ban did not have a comment on either.

  Then on January 11 immediately after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the beheading, Ban came out with a statement.

  But on the impeachment, that has not been the case. Pillay has condemned it, but Ban has remained silent, despite his previous if belated or even begrudging calls for accountability for war crimes in 2009.

  With the judiciary under attack by the Rajapaksa government, the accusee of war crimes, how could there be accountability?

   Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman about the impeachment on January 15 and was told, "we don’t have any comment at this time. We are obviously aware of the media reports, and if that changes and we have something to say, I’ll certainly let you know." But in the three days since, nothing.

O  n January 18 Inner City Press asked Pillay if it is still here plan, previously announced, to visit Sri Lanka in January, of which only 12 days remain. Video here, from Minute 5:50.

Pillay answered Inner City Press, "Yes, it is part of my plan to go to Sri Lanka." Video here, from Minute 6:36. We'll see - watch this site.

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