Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Video (new)

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As UN Security Council Hears of Sri Lanka Report, Russia Objects, Ban Ki-moon to Moscow, Sacrifice for 2d Term?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 19 -- Sri Lanka and the UN Panel of Experts' report were listed in advance as topics of the Security Council briefing on the afternoon of April 18 by UN Department of Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe. Click here for that exclusive Inner City Press report.

  The issues had been so listed even before the leak, presumptively by the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, of a summary of the report to The Island newspaper.

But after the leak, that was the main topic inside the Council, multiple sources told Inner City Press afterwards. It was said, inside the Council, that the government was the likely leaker. But a range of Council members said it made no sense to have a discussion of a partial leak rather than the whole report.

Just as Russia opposed any Council discussion of Sri Lanka during the final, bloody stages of the conflict in 2009, on April 18, 2011 in the Council Russia raised a number of “procedural” objections, sources told Inner City Press afterward.

It should be noted that in the cases of Ivory Coast, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took action, even military action, over Russian objections. Now, Ban is on his way to Russia, seemingly to try to smooth that over and seek to protect his chances at a second term as Secretary General, which Russia could veto.

Will meaningful action on the UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka be sacrificed to Ban's drive for a second term? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN, Sri Lanka Put on Security Council Schedule, “Leak May Change Things," Council Member Tells Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, April 18 -- While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sits on the Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka, it was scheduled to be a topic in the UN Security Council's Monday afternoon meeting, Ban's top political official Lynn Pascoe told Inner City Press Monday at 3 pm.

  Inner City Press asked Pascoe, “Are you one of the senior advisers studying the report among with Ban?”

  “I'm always a senior adviser,” Pascoe quipped in reply. Later two Security Council members told Inner City Press that the topics known in advance to be coming up in the so-called “horizon briefing” by the UN Department of Political Affairs specifically included Sri Lanka, as well as Pascoe's trips to Qatar and Cairo.

  During the final stage of the conflict in 2009, requests by then members Costa Rica and Mexico to take up Sri Lanka in the Security Council were blocked, by Russia, China and others. Non official Council meetings -- called informal interactive dialogues -- were held in the UN basement, to little avail.

  Now in 2011 the Security Council itself has moved to the basement, and with the new “horizon briefing” format, Sri Lanka will come up in the Council. Some say, better late than never. But what will the Security Council do?

A Council member told Inner City Press that the leak of portions of the report -- which many attribute to the government of Sri Lanka itself -- may change how the matter is considered. But how? Watch this site.

Footnote:  Sri Lankan officials have named Pascoe as being presenting at the meeting between Lankan Attorney General Mohan Peiris and Ban's three member panel, and as the one discussing the secrecy of that meeting. We'll see.

* * *

On Sri Lanka, UN Withholds Report Which Was Leaked "Shortly After" Gov't Got it For Review by Adviser Nambiar

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 18 -- Three full days after portions of the Sri Lanka war crimes report was leaked, presumptively by the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, to The Island newspaper, the UN still at its Monday noon briefing did not release the full report.

Inner City Press asked acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq why the report was not being released, whether the Panel of Experts would take questions as took place for example on connection with the UN's report on the murder of Benazhir Bhutto of Pakistan, and for the UN's view of Rajaksa's call for a mass protest of the report on May 1.

 Inner City Press also asked who the UN thought leaked the report.

Haq said that “it did leak to a Sri Lankan newspaper, and... shortly after we gave the report to the government of Sri Lanka.”

While the UN says it is hoping, and was waiting, for a formal response from the Sri Lanka government, Mahinda Rajapaksa has already called for mass protests against the report on May 1. On this, Haq said that the UN called on the government to abide by its responsibility for the safety of UN staff.

Haq did not answer about any press conference or Q&A with the Panel of Experts. His explanation of the non-release of the report was that “the Secretary General and the Senior Advisers are reviewing” the report.

One of Ban's most senior advisers is his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, whose role in the so called white flag murders at the end of the conflict has been described, among other places, in a filing this year with the International Criminal Court about which Inner City Press has repeated asked the UN.

Inner City Press has asked if Nambiar would be recused from consideration of the Sri Lanka war crimes accountability report, and the reply was that the decision on the report would be by Ban himself. But now, as stated at Monday's noon briefing, the senior advisers -- which includes Nambiar - are also involved in the review.

Ban depicted in camp with gun, full report still not shown

Since even the portions leaked to The Island criticize Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat for not release casualty figures during the conflict, Inner City Press asked Haq to respond to that. He said no, there will be no response until after Ban and the Senior Advisers -- including Nambiar -- review the report. Watch this site.

Even as leaked, the report says that

“During the final stages of the war, the United Nations political organs and bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians. Moreover, although senior international officials advocated in public and in private with the Government that it protect civilians and stop the shelling of hospitals and United Nations or ICRC locations, in the Panel’s view, the public use of casualty figures would have strengthened the call for the protection of civilians while those events in the Vanni were unfolding....

“Considering the response of the United Nations to the plight of civilians in the Vanni during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath.. The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates.”

But how is this Secretary General, with a chief of staff whose role in the so called white flag killings in Sri Lanka, and who withheld his own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs casualty figures which were subsequently leaked to and published by Inner City Press, to credibly “conduct of comprehensive review” of his own behavior, and that of his senior advisers?

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb .26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -