Tuesday, June 08, 2010

While on Gaza UN's Ban speaks of Terms of Reference, 3 month delay on Sri Lanka panel

By Matthew Russell Lee - Six days after Israel killed nine people on a ship headed to Gaza, the UN put out a note to the Press that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was conferring with the prime ministers of Israel and Turkey "to ensure that any investigation has the full cooperation of the countries most closely concerned. He is also developing possible terms of reference and logistical arrangements for such an effort."

What is Ban Ki-moon's recent track record on developing such terms of reference? It has now been over three months since Ban announced he would name a panel of experts about possible war crimes during the final phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka last year, in which tens of thousands of civilians were killed.

And yet,on Sri Lanka Ban Ki-moon has yet to name a single member of the promised group of experts, nor to announce the terms of reference.

When asked by Inner City Press how the allegations of the International Crisis Group about the UN's own role in pulling out of civilians areas, ineffectually seeking a ceasefire and funding internment camps would be investigated, as well as issued concerning his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar's role in convincing to surrender rebel leaders who were then killed, Ban said he rejects all such allegations.

Nambiar has said the assurances of safety were provided to him by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa and current Ambassador to the UN Palitha Kohona.

Meanwhile, the UN has named Kohona to lead a separate investigation of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Only at the UN.

Kohona will be out of New York on that ironic work from June 8 through 19. Given that Ban and Nambiar have given Kohona full access to the delayed process at every stage, does this mean that even after three months, Ban will wait at least another 12 days?

Footnote: Inner City Press on June 4 asked the UN's top humanitarian about ICG's charges, the pull out from Kilinochchi, the funding of internment camps, as well as OCHA's having stopped reporting the numbers of civilians killed following government complaints about the leaking of these figures to Inner City Press.

Holmes issued a rote defense and said an international inquiry is not required. Off camera, Holmes told Inner City Press he is leaving at the end of August, and that the UK's new government is not reducing aid, only wanting to measure its efficacy. But will the new government be satisfied with the OCHA post?

© Inner City Press

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

© 2009 - 2014 Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  © Blogger template 'Fly Away' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP