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On Sri Lanka, UN Denies “Secret” Meeting, Won’t Say If Report Public

[Inner City Press, Monday, 7 March 2011 20:41 One Comment]

The UN’s evasiveness on the meetings, travel and report of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Panel on Sri Lanka continued on March 7, with Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky telling Inner City Press that it is up to the Panel to speak for itself, even to decide if its report should be public.

Nesirky called “shaky” reporting that has suggested a secret February 23 meeting, telling Inner City Press “you know, you were there taking pictures, that was not the case.”

Inner City Press asked, were the members of Ban’s panel in town, in New York? Even this Nesirky would not answer, saying it is up to the Panel to say. But where is the Panel?

Then Nesirky said that deadline is “this month.” Inner City Press asked, will it be public?

That will be up to the panel, Nesirky said, in consultation with the Secretary General.

Inner City Press covered a surprise meeting on February 23 between Ban and Sri Lankan officials including the Attorney General and ex-general Shavendra Silva, responsible for what UN officials called the “bloodbath on the beach” in May 2009.

At the time, Inner City Press repeatedly asked Nesirky what relation that meeting had with the work of Ban’s panel and Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission. Nesirky would not relate them in any way.

On March 6, the Sri Lanka Sunday Times reported that the Sri Lankan delegation on February 23, after the meeting exclusively reported by Inner City Press, met with Ban’s panel, and that the panel’s deadline was extended two or three weeks. Immediately upon seeing the article, Inner City Press sent questions by e-mail to Nesirky and his deputy Farhan Haq on the morning of March 6:

A UN source is quoted in the Sri Lanka Sunday Times that after the meeting between Messrs. Ban, Nambiar, Haysum, et al and Sri Lanka’s Attorney General and External Affairs minister on February 23 which you have told me was about reconstruction and rehabilitation,

1) the two Sri Lanka official met with Mr. Ban’s Panel — true or false? If true, why kept secret, and does this replace the trip to Sri Lanka Ban has repeatedly said is allowed by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s flexibility?

2) the deadline for the Panel, set for March 1, has been extended “two to three weeks” – true or false? If true, why was this not announced, and extended for what purpose?

Yes or no: will the report be made public?

Please provide a complete list of attendees of the Ban meeting, and of the reported meeting afterward with Mr. Ban’s Panel.

Nesirky and his deputy Farhan Haq never answered or even confirmed receipt of these questions. More than 24 hours after submitting the questions, at the March 7 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky to answer them, to respond to the Sunday Leader story, and to state if Ban’s Panel will travel to Sri Lanka (as Ban has repeatedly claimed).

Nesirky called the Sunday Leader’s reporting “shaky” in suggesting a secret meeting, emphasizing to Inner City Press “you know, you were there taking pictures, that was not the case.”

IMG_4628
Sri Lanka officials, Ban, Nambiar et al – Ban’s left not ID-ed (c) MRLee

   Inner City Press asked, were the members of Ban’s panel in New York? Even this Nesirky would not answer, saying it is up to the Panel to say. But where is the Panel?

Nesirky said that deadline is “this month.” Inner City Press asked, will it be public?

That will be up to the panel, Nesirky said, in consultation with the Secretary General. We’ll see.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • yesubabu said:

    world will give voice to libya,egipt or elsewhere. The cruel killers will not be punished by Neither UN nor USA Allys. God alone will give punishment to cruel singalees rulers . IT is order of GOD .