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On Sri Lanka, After Russia Bashes UN Report, Ban Withholds It, Asks Medvedev to Support Him for Second Term as S-G

[Inner City Press, Saturday, 23 April 2011 06:09 No Comment]

Shortly after reneging on his Spokesperson’s Office repeated commitments that the UN Panel of Experts’ report on Sri Lanka war crimes would be released “this week,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev, "I’d like to really count on your strong support, leadership and guidance in continuing my work as secretary-general.”

In Colombo, Russia’s Ambassador Valdimir P.Mikhaylov had the previous day appeared at a press conference with Defense chief and presidential brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa and said "unfortunately it seems that the panel of experts went beyond its task, at least as it had been made known to our representatives of New York… we speak not about a ‘UN report’, since it was prepared neither by a UN body or nor even by its request. It was just a personal initiative of the UN Secretary General.”

In this context, for Ban to ask Russia in this way and at this time not to veto the second term he wants seems to many to telegraph that while the report may inevitably be released, Ban will not take serious action on it.

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Ban and Nambiar, Pascoe and Sri Lanka report still not shown

As leaked to The Island newspaper, presumptively by the government, the report urges Ban to himself investigate the UN’s own compliance with international humanitarian law.

Ban’s own chief of staff Vijay Nambiar was involved in the so called white flag killings of surrenderees, as described in a filing with the International Criminal Court.

As such, Nambiar is at a minimum a witness, perhaps a person of interest, in a violation of international humanitarian law.

But Ban has allowed Nambiar to be involved since then in the work on the Panel of Experts, including handing the report to General Shavendra Silva, reviewing the reports and, it seems, deciding not to release it when promised.

[Full Coverage]

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