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As UN Schedules FM Karti & Not Bashir, Silence on Ladsous, Sri Lanka Rajapaksa

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- After days of hype and hypocrisy about the possible visit to the UN General Assembly in New York of Sudan's president Omar al Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, the UN on Monday night posted the next day's schedule.

In it, as noted by Inner City Press, Sudan's foreign minister Ali Karti will meet Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 7:05 pm on September 24. Since countries generally get only one sit-down with the Secretary General, this would seem to confirm that Bashir is NOT coming.

Earlier on Monday, Inner City Press asked Ban's lead spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: on President [Omer Hassan A. al-] Bashir of Sudan, thereís a lot of reports back and forth on whether heíll visit. What I wanted to ask you in advance is, I know the UN has this policy of only having the most necessary contacts with people that are indicted by the International Criminal Court, so whatís the thinking of either the current head of OLA [Office for Legal Affairs] or the past policy, how it would it apply to a visit by Mr. [al-] Bashir? The reason I say itís peacekeeping related, is that I know Hervť Ladsous of DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] did meet with Mr. Bashir and Iím still trying to figure out how this met this standard of only limited and necessary contacts.

Spokesperson Nesikry: Well, on the last part, I think thatís self-evident. We have not one but two peacekeeping missions that directly relate to Sudan, and so I think that that would explain that. With regard to the first part of your question, at this point, itís hypothetical, so Iím really not going to get into that. What was your other question?

  Of course, there ARE other questions. For example, given the UN's own reports on Sri Lanka, why is there so little outrage expressed by Human Rights Watch and others about Ban meeting Mahinda Rajapaksa, at 6:05 pm on Tuesday? Why is Ban allowed to withhold until now the UN report on the organization's inaction in 2009 while 40,000 civilians were killed?

  And why have HRW and, for example, the US State Department been so silent about the UN's Herve Ladsous meeting with Bashir? Ladsous' predecessor Alain Le Roy never did, it was confirmed to Inner City Press on Monday. So why the silence? Watch this site.


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