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UN's Post Sri Lanka RUF Plan Goes Behind Closed Doors, Morality Test Cited

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 17 -- Following the UN's self-described "systemic failure" in Sri Lanka in 2009, in stages it is announcing an action plan it calls "Rights Up Front."

Inner City Press obtained and published the RUF Plan on October 1; after that, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky refused to confirm the documents, telling Inner City Press it "may or may not exist."

  Since then a number of member states asked Inner City Press for information about the plan. On Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson held a closed door briefing to member states about the RUF plan.

Hours before at Tuesday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky if Eliasson's briefing would at least be web-cast. Nesirky said to "Ask the President of the General Assembly's office." So Inner City Press did, and received this back at 3:02 pm: "The briefing is being webcast."

The webcast cut off after Eliasson's statement (which we expect to receive and post) and replies by Jordan and Bulgaria. Inner City Press spoke with diplomats outside the meeting, held in Conference Room 3, and was told that while "only Indonesia raised questions," a number of states did not speak.

A Latin American diplomat told Inner City Press that "more bureaucracy can't guarantee morality." An African diplomat, shaking his head, said that it was the Western P3 on the Security Council who by demanding in Syria from the beginning the ouster of Assad had guaranteed three years of carnage.

As Inner City Press has reported, the Western P3 never even tried to get a formal Security Council meeting on Sri Lanka in 2009. They seemed in favor of the elimination of the Tamil Tigers, then afterward feigned surprise at how many civilians had been killed.

An Asian diplomat told Inner City Press it is all double standards, "they criticize smaller countries for execution but said nothing when Saddam was killed, or about the drones."

Several diplomats said that the statement of Pakistan's Ambassador Masood Khan, in favor of the RUF plan, "set the tone." The bottom line is whether this UN actually implements it. Watch this site.


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