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As UN Denies Sri Lankan Copter Offer, Killing Fields Moved Out of UN

[Inner City Press, Saturday, 18 June 2011 10:02 No Comment]

The UN on Friday denied it has received any offers for helicopters from Sri Lanka.

After air force spokesman air force spokesman Andy Wijesuriya was quoted that “we have offered our aircraft” — Ukraine-manufactured Mi-24 helicopter gunships as well as Chinese-made Y-12 fixed-wing transporters — Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky how the Panel of Experts’ report on war crimes would impact the UN’s review of the offer.

Four hours later Nesirky’s office sent this response to Inner City Press:

Subject: Your question on Sri Lanka

Date: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM

From: UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply [at] un.org

To: Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com

Cc: Martin Nesirky [at] un.org

Regarding the offer of gunships, DPKO’s Force Generation Service has not yet received any formal offer from Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan air force was involved in what even UN under secretary general John Holmes called the “bloodbath on the beach” in 2009, most recently depicted in UK Channel 4′s “Killing Fields” documentary.

  This was to be screened inside the UN in New York on June 21, just before a vote is taken in the General Assembly on Ban Ki-moon getting a second five year term as Secretary General. (As of June 15,Ban had not watched the filmAs of June 15, Ban had not watch the film, Nesirky told Inner City Press.)

But now the screening has been moved outside of the UN, to the “Church Center” across the street. Sri Lankan Ambassador Palitha Kohona told Inner City Press he was going to attend the screening if it was inside the UN. Apparently, he will not attend across the street. Of the scenes of extrajudicial execution, he said one cannot prove who is Sinhalese and who is Tamil. There is, of course, a sound track.

[Full Coverage]

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