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On Sri Lanka, As UN Haq Claims No Nambiar ICC Filing, Meeting Disputed

[Inner City Press, Thursday, 24 February 2011 08:17 No Comment]

With the UN accused of misstatements by Sri Lanka’s government, the UN spokesperson’s office has claimed that there is no filing with the International Criminal Court involving chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, in the process telling media covering Myanmar that an Inner City Press story is inaccurate.

But when UN spokesman Martin Nesirky was publicly asked Wednesday by Inner City Press about his deputy Farhan Haq’s statement that “the Inner City Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint formally filed at the International Criminal Court,” Nesirky did not answer, only claiming “we spoke about that yesterday.”

The previous day, Nesirky would not commit to seeking a response from Nambiar if the descriptions of his involvement in Sri Lanka were accurate.

   After that, at 7 pm on February 22, Haq received a question about Inner City Press’ story about the ICC filing involving not only Sri Lanka Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona but also Nambiar, and why Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not responded to calls, including by Permanent Five and other members of the Security Council, to on Myanmar replace Nambiar with a full time envoy.

Haq replied:

From: Farhan Haq [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM
Re: Question about Nambiar, ICC and Burma envoy role

Yes, he is still the acting Special Adviser on Myanmar.

The Inner City Press story is inaccurate; there has been no complaint formally filed at the International Criminal Court. Please ask the ICC for anything more on that.

As for a full-time Special Adviser, Ban Ki-moon has been considering that idea; there is nothing to announce for now.

Inner City Press on February 23 asked Nesirky the basis for Haq’s statement that “there has been no complaint formally filed at the International Criminal Court.” On both February 22 and 23, Inner City Press told Nesirky that the ICC filing had been widely reported in the Australian press. Did the UN seek any retraction or correction from the Sydney Morning Herald?

Nesirky said he would only take a few questions on February 23 — he used time accusing Inner City Press of making noise with its laptop, which was untrue — so Inner City Press was unable to ask for the UN’s response to Sri Lanka’s government’s claim that Ban Ki-moon daily schedule for February 23 is false, and that the UN has never even asked to meet wth members of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission.

UN’s Ban & Nambiar, response to Haq & Lanka statements, ICC not shown

The Government today rejected reports that External Affairs Ministry Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe and Attorney General Mohan Peiris were in New York to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera told the Daily Mirror that the External Affairs Ministry Secretary was overseas on a private visit and that, to his knowledge, there was no meeting scheduled between the Attorney General and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Minister further rejected claims that the government had hindered the UN Secretary Generals’ Expert Panel from contacting the local Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

“We are in constant contact with the UN Secretary General’s office and they have not requested to meet with the LLRC. If they so wish they can contact them through us or even directly”, he said.

A representative of the LLRC told the Daily Mirror that any contact between the panel and the LLRC would generally have to be through the External Affairs Ministry. “The Commission has not been contacted, normally however it is understood that any contact would have to be made through the External Affairs Ministry; the Secretary Generals office or the UN office in Colombo would have to contact them- but no such contact has been made,” the representative said.

[Full Coverage]

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