Wednesday May 22, 2013
At UN on Sri Lanka, Ban Sat on Hands Six Months, Now Petrie Panel End in July?Matthew Russell Lee Special to Salem-News.com
Why did Ban Ki-moon leave the promised panel on Sri Lanka War Crimes dormant for six months?
(UNITED NATIONS) - Amid questions about the UN's role as 40,000 civilians were killed in Sri Lanka in May 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that a four month panel to review what the UN, and even his then chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, had done would start in September 2011.
But when Inner City Press asked nine months later on June 11 what had happened to the panel, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky belatedly disclosed that the panel chief, Thoraya Obaid, had never started working in September, and was replaced by Charles Petrie.
Inner City Press asked, "Is there some explanation for the four-month period being more than doubled now?"
Nesirky replied, "This is something that is quite complex and quite important. And the review is under way, as I say. It is being headed by Charles Petrie, and it is in full swing, and when we have something to say further, I will let you know; but we don’t at the moment."
A week later on June 18, Inner City Press asked Ban's Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq:
But 24 hours later when Inner City Press asked Ban's lead spokesman Nesirky for this simple information, when did Petrie start, Nesirky had no answer.
The next day June 20, though, Nesirky began be reading this out: "I’ve been asked about the UN review of its own actions in Sri Lanka. The review started in April of this year and will be completed by July of this year or thereabouts."
We appreciate answers, how ever belated; we have noticed that asking a follow-up to such an answer only leads to more animosity, as does other factual reporting about Sri Lanka.
So we merely report this new time frame, while wondering: if Sri Lanka and accountability for 40,000 dead is so "important" to Ban Ki-moon, why did he leave the promised panel dormant for six months, after having promised an outcome or output in four months? Watch this site.
Footnote: not only was Nambiar spotted June 20 outside the Security Council on Myanmar - to his credit he slowed and spoke - but later on June 20 in the General Assembly lobby was a UN Human Rights official who's been made aware of the Sri Lankan roots and threats of the "campaign" against Inner City Press, reported by SLC and now, on June 20, the Guardian. We'll have more on this.
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