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At UN, Sri Lanka Shooting of Opposition Draws No Comment, No Probe

[Inner City Press, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 10:20 One Comment]

A week after the UN went public with its rejection of requests for assistance to ensure greater freedom and fairness in Sri Lanka’s upcoming election, a bus load of supporters of opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka was attacked by gunmen, killing one and injuring ten others.

Inner City Press asked the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, who had said he was closely watching to ensure greater political openness in Sri Lanka, if Mr. Ban had any comment on the death political attack or would re-think his decision for the UN to play no safeguarding role in the election. Video here, from Minute 7:08.

Having just heard United Nations Office for West Africa official Said Djinnit describe the UN’s work in Togo to "prevent violence" in advance of that country’s February 2010 election, Inner City Press asked why the UN would be providing such help in Togo, but not in Sri Lanka which Mr. Ban said he was concerned about.

Mr. Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said it is not a "good idea" to be "drawing links between geographical regions."

   He said the UN had made it clear why it will not be providing observers or even technical assistance in Sri Lanka — these reason are that there was not enough time, that a General Assembly vote was purportedly required — and that, since the shooting incident was recent, there was no UN response.

But will there be a response from Ban’s UN in the future?

Ban named a commission of inquiry into the death of 157 people in Guinea in September 2009, but none into thousands of killings in Sri Lanka. But, notably, France pushed Ban to name the Guinea panel, despite some opposition from Russia.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • Sanath said:

    As the UN has refused to give its support to the upcoming election it is almost irrelevant what Ban thinks on the matter. Don’t get me wrong it was a terrible act, and one that should not be repeated. The Government got it right yesterday in quickly condemning the act and acting fast to find the perpetrators

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=a2OMRbPI5k5w

    It doesn’t matter which way they vote. The Government understands, by increasing security around election campaigning and voting, that a fair and democratic voting process is important for the future of such a fine country. I was extremely impressed by the speed of response from the Government and the police. Rajapaksa is increasingly showing that he understand s the importance of international recognition.