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On Sri Lanka, Ban Hasn’t Seen Killing Fields Film Nor Reviewed UN Actions

[Inner City Press, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:58 No Comment]

The day after the one hour documentary “Sri Lanka Killing Fields” was shown on Britain’s Channel 4 and the Internet, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky a series of questions about the extrajudicial killings, rapes and UN misdeeds portrayed in the film.

Nesirky said that Ban “has not actually seen the documentary” but is “aware of its themes.”

Inner City Press asked what Ban has done on his commitment back in April to review the UN’s own actions in Sri Lanka. The documentary shows the UN workers leaving Kilinochchi, covers the extrajudicial execution of two surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders — assurances of whose safety were conveyed by Ban’s own chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.

Even after forty days, that review has not started. When Inner City Press asked Ban about it on June 6, when he announced his bid for a second five year term as Secretary General, Ban did not answer that part of the question. On June 15, Nesirky said that the Secretariat is “working with other parts” of the UN system “on how that will actually take place.”

Ban is awaiting re-appointment in the Security Council on June 16, and in the General Assembly on June 21. Killing Fields may be screened inside the UN in New York before that process is over. Will Ban has seen it by then? (Click here to view it.)

Inner City Press asked Nesirky if Ban has reconsidered his position that he cannot or will not follow the recommendation by his own Panel of Experts that he establish an independent international investigation mechanism until either Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa government agrees, or the Security Council, Human Rights Council or General Assembly orders it.

Nesirky repeated previous statements but added that for an investigation to have “administrative and judicial powers,” a vote by one of the three bodies would be required.

Inner City Press asked if that was an acknowledgment that an investigation like the Democratic Republic of the Congo Mapping Report could be initiated without waiting for a Security Council, Human Rights Council or General Assembly vote.

On this, Nesirky used a phrase that he has used before: that the Panel of Experts report “is out there.” So is the documentary The Killing Fields. But what will Ban Ki-moon do?

[Full Coverage]

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