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As Ban Ki-Moon Meets Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, Shavendra Silva There, Where's Report?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 24 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday at 6 pm, another Sri Lankan official came into the meeting room.

  It was Shavendra Silva, a military figure whose Army unit was depicted engaged in war crimes in the UN's own report on Sri Lanka.

Ban previously accepted Silva on his Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, telling Inner City Press it was a decision of member states.

  But was Ban told that Silva would be coming up with Minister Peiris and Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona? First photo here.

Inner City Press was up for the photo-op. Silva came into the room, started walking toward the middle of the table where Mahinda Rajapaksa signed Ban's UN book. But then Silva retreated to the back, and then walked out of the room. Second photo here; third photo here.

Walk-out photo here.

Did Silva re-enter after the photographers were ordered out? Inner City Press remained on the 38th floor, with others, for Ban's meeting with Evo Morales of Bolivia. When the Sri Lanka meeting ended, two other UN officials came out: Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, and human rights official Ivan Simonovic.

But where was the UN report on its inaction in 2009, which Ban has had since August? Will it be released? Or play hide and seek like Silva? Watch this site.

Then this read-out:

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. They exchanged views on the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka and the country’s cooperation with the United Nations. The Secretary-General noted the Government’s latest efforts to conduct the provincial elections and to implement the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. The Secretary-General also addressed the remaining challenges in reconciliation and emphasized the need for a more holistic approach.

New York, 24 September 2013


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