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Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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At UN, Screening of Rajapaksa's Response to "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka," Itself Neven Shown in Ban Ki-moon's UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 2 -- After the bloody final stage of conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, alongside stalled action at the UN and its Human Rights Council, a documentary was made. This "Killing Fields" film about Sri Lanka has still apparenlty not been seen by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Nor was it ever screened inside the UN, but rather across First Avenue in what's called the Church Center.

But tellingly, this notice reached Inner City Press on September 1

"inviting all UN Correspondents to attend the screening of the documentary 'Lies Agreed Upon,' on Tuesday, September 6th at 2:00pm in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium. Ambassador Dr.Palitha Kohona and Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka will be present for a Q&A session following the screening. Sri Lankan Authorities state 'This video directly challenges the assertions contained in the CH-4 video, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields.'"

  While there is more to report on this strange screening, what most obviously jumps out is that a screening inside the UN is being given to a response film which " directly challenges the assertions contained in" another film which was never shown inside the UN.

  This might be seen as propaganda, or as indicative of Ban Ki-moon's UN. Inner City Press has five times asked if Ban had taken the time to see "Killing Fields," which is critical of the performance of the UN and Ban himself in the final stages of the Sri Lanka conflict.

UN's Ban & Rajapaksa, Killing Fields not seen, but rebuttal to be screened

  Ban's now departed deputy spokesman Farhan Haq belatedly replied that Ban had been given a DVD copy which he would watch when he had time. But this has apparently still not occurred, by contrast to a screening for Ban, his family and staff of the film "The Whistleblower" which criticizes the UN under Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan.

   The Whistleblower was shown in the UN, unlike "Killing Fields," which because the request conflicted with Ban Ki-moon's re-appointment in the General Assembly was not screened inside the UN, and moved across the street.

  In fairness Ban is now away from New York, headed to Australia -- where he may hear Sri Lanka concerns -- New Zealand and Kiribati. So those who unilaterally scheduled for a screening in the UN of the Rajapaksa government's rebuttal to a film that itself was never shown in the US may wish to explain themselves. Watch this site.

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At UN on Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon Didn't Even Submit Panel Report to Geneva, "Could Still Happen" - But When?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 15, updated with transcript -- Asked about an editorial accusing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of being "lax" on countries such as Sri Lanka, Ban's acting deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on Monday countered that Ban had "on his own authority appointed a Panel of Experts" on Sri Lanka.

  Inner City Press asked if Ban had even transmitted the Panel's report to the Human Rights Council, and if he finds it unfortunate that the Human Rights Council did not take up or act on the detailed report.

  Haq replied that the Panel's report has "not been formally submitted by Secretary General at this stage although that could still happen in the future."

  Earlier this month, representatives of a number of member states asked Inner City Press why Ban never transmitted the Panel's report to the Human Rights Council. "This sent a message," one representative told Inner City Press with a shake of the head, "that Ban doesn't really want action on his own report."

  The representative went on to marvel that Vijay Nambiar, who was involved in the white flag killing described in the Report, has been allowed to play any role in the review and (in) action on the Report.

Ban & his Special Adviser Nambiar, Report to Geneva not shown

  Now some in the Ban administration imply that the report has been held back. For leverage or due to a lack of commitment? One Ban administration representative told Inner City Press, on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation and firing, that if Ban has any leverage, he would use it for "more pressing" topics than Sri Lanka.

  Meanwhile Ban's Office of the Spokesman is reducing question and answers by 40% by canceling noon briefings; lead spokesman Martin Nesirky will only return on August 29, if then. Ban has returned from South Korea, but will try to take this week off.

 An article in the Canadian press about the cut back in question and answer time quoted Inner City Press asking Haq "How did you decide to say that journalists here want less information rather than more?" and an unnamed UN official that the "coming week looks to be pretty calm." Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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

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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

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