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At UN, Sri Lanka FM Peiris Meets Pascoe Then Nambiar, Ban No Time for Killing Fields

[Inner City Press, Friday, 23 September 2011 08:32 No Comment]

Amid charges of war crimes leveled at the government of Sri Lanka, including its Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona, the country’s foreign minister G.L. Peiris came to UN Headquarters Thursday morning for at least two meetings.

  On the second floor of the UN’s North Lawn building, Inner City Press spotted Peiris, Kohona and an entourage at 8:20 Thursday morning. They went into the office of the UN Department of Political Affairs at 8:34, and did not emerge until after 9 am.

  Inner City Press asked Peiris, how the meeting went. "We had a useful meeting," he said.

  Did you meet with [Lynn] Pascoe? Yes, Peiris said, and now "we are going to meet with Vijay Nambiar."

  Ban Ki-Moon’s chief of staff Nambiar, of course, is involved in the same White Flag murder case as Kohona, having passed assurances to surrendering Tamil Tiger rebels that if they raised a white flag they would be treated in compliance with international law. In fact, they were killed.

  Nambiar has repeatedly refused to answer questions about his role. And now Peiris meets with him.

  Minutes later, Inner City Press asked Pascoe about his meeting with Peiris. Pascoe to his credit answered, saying that Peiris "explained where they are going and what they’re trying to do."

  Pascoe paused then said, "He’s got some complaints about things in the past, as we all know… But it was good for us to talk through." Pascoe confirmed the meeting with Nambiar.

IMG_7494
Peiris at UN 9/22 before Pascoe meeting, (c) MRLee

  Inner City Press midday on Wednesday, when Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s spokesman canceled the regular noon briefing, asked to be given notice of Sri Lanka meetings, and asked again if Ban has watched "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka." The question was not acknowledged or answered. Why so secret?

When Inner City Press asked Pascoe if Mahinda Rajapaksa is going to meet with Ban Ki-moon, Pascoe said "yes, sometime." Watch this site.

Update of 10:15 am — twenty five minutes after the above was published, a belated answer can in from Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson’s office:

Date: Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM
Subject: Your question on Sri Lanka
From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org
To: Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com
Cc: Martin Nesirky @un.org

Regarding your questions on Sri Lanka, it is envisaged that the Secretary-General will meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka on the sidelines of this General Assembly. The Secretary-General’s daily appointments are made public on the evening prior, and are available at the Spokesperson’s Office.

The Secretary-General has yet to view the documentary "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", but has been thoroughly briefed on the film’s contents.

[Full Coverage]

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