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UN Dodges Sri Lanka Claim On Killing Fields, Ban Hasn’t Seen, Silent on Prageeth

[Inner City Press, Friday, 24 June 2011 06:40 One Comment]

While Sri Lanka has yet to even respond to the UN on its Panel of Experts report on war crimes, the country’s Mission to the UN has put out a response to the recent film “Killing Fields," entitled "Still trying to corner Sri Lanka." On June 23, Inner City Press asked for the UN’s reply:

Inner City Press: There has been a response now by the Sri Lankan Mission to the Killing Fields film.. it talks about the scene where Tamil civilians were seen pleading with the UN not to leave, which was Kilinochchi. And the statement by the Mission is: “At the time the UN had said that the demonstration was not genuine.” Is it possible to know from the UN if they agree with this or they deny this statement by the Sri Lanka Mission that the demonstration, which was one of the things he is supposed to be looking into; the UN’s own action, pulling out of Kilinochchi, did the UN leave because they thought that the demonstration was somehow not genuine, or is this a false statement by the Sri Lankan Mission?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: I’ll have to look into that; I don’t know the answer to that at this point.

  But when Nesirky’s office did respond, they did not address Sri Lanka’s statement that “At the time the UN had said that the demonstration was not genuine.” This was the response they inserted into their transcript:

[He later added that, unfortunately, the United Nations had to reluctantly withdraw from Kilinochchi on 16 September of that year, following the announcement by the Government of Sri Lanka that they could no longer ensure the safety of aid workers in the Vanni, and their request that United Nations and NGO staff should relocate to Government-controlled territory.]

A question, of course, is did the UN protest or make enough noise about leaving. And why wouldn’t the UN deny (or confirm) Sri Lanka’s statement that “At the time the UN had said that the demonstration was not genuine”?

Ban & spox, Ban answers on Sri Lanka, Killing Fields& Prageeth not shown

  When Ban announced for a second term as Secretary General on June 6, Inner City Press asked him about Sri Lanka and he said he would be starting the review of the UN’s own actions. It has still not started, according to his spokesman, who has also twice told Inner City Press that Ban has not seen the documentary “Killing Fields.” Click here for Channel 4.

  Nor has a major Ban advisor, nor the most senior UN official from Sri Lanka, Radhika Coomaraswamy (who told Inner City Press she would be recused from any decision to review actions in Sri Lanka). So who is it, who “briefed Ban” about the Killing Fields?

Footnote: On June 23, Ban with the Committee to Protect Journalists. Inner City Press asked CPJ for a read out, and if the case of disappeared Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda had been raised, and what Ban said.

CPJ replied that “the focus of our meeting was the Middle East and freedom of expression online but we also provided details on the Prageeth Eknelygoda case. Our time was also cut a bit short because Ban was running late. It is our understanding that there will not be a readout of the meeting and that is a decision of the Secretary General’s office.”

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One Comment »

  • paul – las vegas said:

    A very importent fact to remember that both Gen Sarath Fonseka and the defense minister mr G. Rajapaksa are both American citizens…..what has the US state dept to say about this. The first genocide on Pres. Obamas watch.
    MR.Secretary General of the UN …”shame on you”. this video clear shows that the UN as an accessory to this slauther or at the very least grossly complicient.
    What are you going to do….the world is watching.