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On Sri Lanka, As UN Further Delays Release of Report, Pascoe Tells Press He Didn’t Know – So Nambiar In Charge?

[Inner City Press, Friday, 22 April 2011 07:17 No Comment]

In a loss of nerve that sadly is not surprising, the UN Secretariat on Thursday delayed its noon briefing in the expectation that it would belatedly release its Panel of Experts’ report on war crimes in Sri Lanka — and then did not release the report.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq came in half an hour late and said that he “still expects” the report’s release, but it did not happen at the briefing. He said Sri Lanka is being given another chance to submit a response.

Inner City Press asked about Haq’s statement just the previous day, April 20, that while the UN was “expecting that there will be a response from the Government of Sri Lanka… That doesn’t need to tie our hands down regarding when we are going to put out this report. As we have said repeatedly, we’ll put it out this week.”

Haq said it is only Thursday. But Friday is a UN holiday (and UN staff get “early release” on Thursday). In any event, was it true that the UN’s hands weren’t tied down?

After asking more questions at the “noon” briefing, Inner City Press ran to the Security Council and caught up with the head of Ban’s Department of Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, coming out of the morning’s meeting on the Middle East.

Inner City Press told Pascoe that the Sri Lanka report had not, in fact, been released.

“You’ve told me something I didn’t know,” Pascoe told Inner City Press. “I’ve been busy.”

Why was it not released?

“I’ll find out,” Pascoe said, leaving.

It seems clear that Ban’s chief political adviser wasn’t told that the report wouldn’t be released. Ban is traveling to Russia. So who made the decision?

Sources tell Inner City Press of the involvement, still allowed by Ban, of Vijay Nambiar, whose role in the so called white flag murders of surrenderees in Sri Lanka has been described in a filing to the International Criminal Court.

Ban and Nambiar, Pascoe and Sri Lanka report not shown

This UN sinks lower and lower. Inner City Press asked Haq if the Panel of Experts will hold a press conference and answer questions, as was done by Ban’s Panel on the murder of Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

[Full Coverage]

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