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UN: Sri Lanka


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Post Sri Lanka RUF Plan to GA Dec 17 by Eliasson, No Gota Read-Out

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 16 -- Despite the UN having described its performance in Sri Lanka in 2009 as a failure and having produced a "Rights Up Front" plan to avoid failing in the future, the status of the plan, and of the UN's communications with the Sri Lankan government, remain less than transparent.

  On Monday, seeing that Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson was meeting with Sri Lanka's Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Inner City Press asked the UN for a read-out or summary, and got this:

Subject: Gotabaya Rajapaksa
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your emailed question: There is no readout of the Deputy Secretary-General's meeting with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which is part of our regular interaction with Member States.

   It emerges that DSG Eliasson will be briefing member states about the plan on December 17. Neither the notice nor President of the General Assembly John Ashe's letter make any mention of Sri Lanka. Inner City Press obtained and published the Rights Up Front plan on October 1, here.

Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon about Rights Up Front on Monday. Here's Inner City Press YouTube video; here's the UN's transcript, from which they took out the Free UN Coalition for Access as requester of more briefing in 2014 while leaving UNCA in - the (censorship) Alliance --

Inner City Press: Thanks for doing this briefing, and we hope to have more of them in 2014. I wanted to ask you about one of your policy moves in 2013, this post-Sri Lanka Rights Up Front Plan that both you and the Deputy Secretary-General have spoken about. What I wanted to know: is the plan now effective? Is it UN policy? I notice that the Deputy is meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, this morning, and I wanted to know: is there any relation between the two?

Finally, someone said, I am sure you have seen this criticism by Medecins Sans Frontieres about the UN – what they describe as inaction in Central African Republic, of sitting in bases, maybe out of security concerns, but not going out and helping people in Bossangoa and Bangui. Do you see any relationship between that plan and the need to take humanitarian action on the ground? Thank you very much.

SG: First of all, on this Rights Up Front Action plan, it is what we learned from the recent situation in Sri Lanka. As you know, I established a Panel of Experts and the Panel of Experts requested me to see whether the United Nations had done all… addressed properly. We had a very serious internal review. As a result of this we established this very important action plan. Of course, this Rights Up Front Action Plan is not aiming at any particular country or any particular case. This will be used for all countries and all cases, all situations. That is why I have submitted this to the General Assembly, with my strong recommendation. The President of the General Assembly has circulated to the Member States, so that this will be a sort of guideline to protect human rights, and prevent any further possible human rights violations in any cases. I am very firm. We discussed this matter even this morning among our senior advisers.

On CAR, I took note of all the criticism by Medecins Sans Frontieres. We are now beefing up our action to help the Central African Republic. Because of the very dire and dangerous security situation, it was very difficult in some cases to deliver, and the Government is not functioning. There is no such functioning government. This transitional government is not property functioning. Now, with the deployment of MISCA and the French Senegalese contingent, the situation has now been controlled. With this we will continue to beef up our capacity. I have discussed this issue with Valerie Amos yesterday, and we are doing our best, as much as we can.

The transcription of "French Senegalese" contingent should be reviewed...


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