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In DC, Peiris of Sri Lanka Shows Not Ready for Prime Time, Hillary Clinton to Hear War Crimes Defense

[Inner City Press, Friday, 28 May 2010 09:10 No Comment]

Now that Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs Gamini Lakshman Peiris has turned tail and run out of the National Press Club without speaking or offering any explanation, the world can see what Inner City Press has diagnosed since the Peiris visit began over last weekend: he is not ready for prime time.

At the UN, rather than hold an open press conference as the foreign ministers of such countries as Georgia and Iran and Indonesia do, the Sri Lankan Mission to the UN invited specific individual journalists, many of whom had never written about Sri Lanka, to meet and even wine and dine with Peiris.

Inner City Press sent a request to the Mission to pose questions to Peiris, about reports of war crimes by the Rajapaksa government he represents. A Mission staffer said the decisions were being made by the Deputy Permanent Representative, who since arriving in New York from Canada had sent Inner City Press a series of amateurism letters meant to intimidate, often minutes before the UN’s daily press conference.

Since this DPR has refused to answer any of the factual questions sent to him, Inner City Press re-directed its request to interview Peiris to Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona, who did not reply. One reporter leaving the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Sunday night after meeting with Peiris and Kohona described Peiris as making a war crimes defense. But why not make it publicly?

The next day, after Peiris, Kohona and entourage met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar — a meeting Inner City Press was banned from photographing — Inner City Press asked the exiting Peiris to describe the meeting. He refused.


UN’s Ban and G.L. Peiris, who ran from the press, in NY and now DC

Now, down in Washington, Peiris appears at the National Press Club at 10, supposed to speak – but walked out. Neither the ministry nor the NPC could explain. We can; not ready for prime time.

[Full Coverage]

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