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UN: Sri Lanka


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On Sri Lanka, Solheim Speaks on White Flag Killings, Kohona, UN Theater

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 9 -- On Sri Lanka, the UN has entirely stonewalled Press questions about the new White Flag killings report and the light it sheds on current UN official Vijay Nambiar and former UN official, now Sri Lankan Ambassador Palitha Kohona.

Now Erik Solheim of Norway has given an interview and said:

Solheim: On 17 May, 2009, the Norwegians and others received calls by Pulidevan and Nadesan who wanted to surrender. We told them it was too late for us to arrange anything and advised them to hoist a white flag. On 18 May, we were informed they were killed.

Q: However, Dr. Palitha Kohona declared, after the war, that the LTTE senior militants shot and killed Prabhakran and his immediate members as they did not want anyone to surrender to government troops. Isn't this a possibility?

Solheim: You will have a huge difficulty finding any other person believing this story.

  In the UN, however, when Inner City Press reported on the background to Kohona getting the Rajapaksa government's denial of war crimes, “Lies Agreed To,” screened in the Dag Hammarjkold Library auditorium, the reaction from the then-president and executive committee of the United Nations Correspondents Association are summarized here. One wag wondered whether the 2009 Bloodbath on the Beach has now been echoed as Blowhards on the Beach, here.

   In Sri Lanka now the Rajapaksa government blocks websites it doesn't like. The UNCA board asked that Inner City Press articles be removed from the internet. This was refused. One UNCA board member claimed to Google that his “for the record” complaint to the UN trying to get Inner City Press thrown out was in fact private and “copyrighted.”  Here is a response from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

   This got it banned from Google's Search, under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which threatens to be globalized through the Trans Pacific Partnership. Who said there is not censorship in the UN, and in the United States?

  Now the new Free UN Coalition for Access opposes all of this, and attacks on media work both inside the UN and further afield. Solheim has said he is willing to testify; outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's said to be eying Sandra Beidas to head the probe. Watch this site.


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