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UN Says No Power to Stop Sri Lanka Silva from Inspecting DPKO Troops

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- On the same day the UN of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said its review of its actions and inactions in Sri Lanka will be finished in the second quarter of 2013, it also claimed that it had no power over, and could not stop, General Shavendra Silva of the Sri Lanka Army, depicted in Ban's report on Sri Lanka as engaged in war crimes, from "inspecting" UN peacekeepers in Lebanon.

   By the logic of the UN's answer, even indicted war criminals could play such an inspecting role in UN Peacekeeping missions.

   In fact, while in the UN Security Council Thursday morning delegations denounced Ahmed Harum of Sudan, UN Peacekeeping has at least twice given him free flights in UN helicopters, including into the killing zone of Abyei, to throw gas on the fire.

  The head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous has refused to answer Press questions about the UN's role in Abyei, about lessons learned from the UN's introduction of cholera to Haiti and Ban's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, click here.

  With regard to Shavendra Silva, even when several South Asian Permanent Representatives came out against his service on Ban's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Ban told Inner City Press he could do nothing, it was up to member states.

   Silva even was allowed to appear in the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium to screen a government film denying war crimes. Press criticism of how and why that screening happened led to anti-Press moves that continue to this way -- but which are now being fought.

  Here was Thursday's evening's UN answer to Inner City Press' noon question, note the last line:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM
Subject: Your question at the noon briefing - a reminder
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

The Spokesperson later said that Major General Shavendra Silva was part of the Military-Police Advisors Community (MPAC) delegation visiting the United Nations Interim Force Mission in Lebanon from 28 Nov - 4 Dec 2012. The official MPAC programme included briefings and visits to UN positions. The MPAC is a group comprising permanent missions' military attaches and police advisors, and the UN had no authority over the group of visitors that included Gen. Silva.

"Had no authority?" The UN has no say over who visits and inspects its peacekeepers? Watch this site.

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