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With UN Panel Blocked from Sri Lanka, Visit Now Called “Not Essential"

[Inner City Press, Tuesday, 25 January 2011 18:14 No Comment]

After breaking the news that the Sri Lanka Panel of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was being blocked by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, Inner City Press has repeatedly asked Ban’s Spokesperson’s Office for comment.

In particular, since Ban on December 17 and January 14 told the Press the Panel could go to Sri Lanka, Inner City Press every day asked who Ban had spoken to before saying that, and what was said.

On January 25, the UN sent the following:

From: UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Subject: Your questions on the Sri Lanka panel
To: Inner City Press

Regarding your questions about the possible travel of the advisory panel, we have the following to say:

Discussions are ongoing. The Panel wants to engage with Sri Lankan actors relevant to the question of accountability. A visit would be useful but is not essential for the Panel to provide advice to the Secretary-General.

Ban depicted in IDP camp

  If the Panel “wants to engage with Sri Lankan actors relevant to the question of accountability” why did they not even request to interview Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Minister of Foreign Affairs G.L. Peiris, both in the United States this week?

[Full Coverage]

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