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Sri Lanka After Mass Killing and Cover Up Is

Blithely Praised by UN Guterres Who Censors
Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, 30/7 CJR, 19/6 Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE,
September 28 –UN Peacekeeper chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix has been multiply
informed that the Sri Lanka government vetting of peacekeepers the UN has relied
on has not been complied with, regarding at least 49 soldiers now "serving" the
UN in Lebanon. Inner City Press was sent a copy of the letters, and published them
- then asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric for the UN's response. [See July 21
response, below.] On July 30 UNSG Antonio Guterres' sleazy basis for roughing up
and banning Inner City Press now for life (and the impending UNGA week which
Sirisena is slated to attendand pitch at) was reported in the Columbia Journalist
Review, and now the NY Post. But on September through Eri Kaneko of his
Spokesperson's Office, Guterres offered this shamefully gushing read out: "The
Secretary-General met with H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The Secretary-General appreciated the
close cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United Nations and thanked Sri
Lanka for its contribution to United Nations peacekeeping in particular. The
Secretary-General and the President also discussed Sri Lanka’s efforts in the peace
and reconciliation process. The Secretary-General offered continued support in this
regard. They also discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development." Really.Meanwhile Sri Lanka which used
cluster munitions is now President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. "In Sri
Lanka’s case they have driven many de-miners and UN staff outof the country and
effectively silenced the witnesses. There are also many victims among recent
refugees outside Sri Lanka in countries like Switzerland; their geographic
dislocation should not diminish their rights as victims,” said Jasmin Sooka
of ITJPSL. “The Convention requires Sri Lanka to undertake a victim survey which
should include victims abroad subject to internationally recognized witness
protection provisions.” Inner City Press has repeatedly asked Dujarric, "September
17-2: It is multiply reported that Sri Lanka during the upcoming high level week
will make a presentation to the SG about, among other things, limited the
currently stated vetting of Sri Lanka troops for participation in alleged war crimes.
Please state the date of any meeting of the SG with President Sirisena, and state
the UN's / SG's view of the current vetting system, including seeming lack of
compliance by Sri Lanka. What is the status of Sri Lankan deployments and/or
rotations?" As of September 20, no answer. But this, from JDS: "Month Crime
Security forces Location July 2018 Abduction, Torture
and Murder
3 Unknown Mullaithivu District
July 2018 Shot dead Unknown Mullaithivu District
June 2018 Rape of 2 children
(female)
18th National Guard -Army
Batticaloa District
June 2018 Torture of 2 men Police Valvettithurai, Jaffna District January 2018
Abduction Unknown Trincomalee
District November 2017 Abduction in a
white van
Unknown group Jaffna District
November 2017 Attempted white
van abduction
Unknown group Colombo District
Nov 2016- Sep 2017 9 extrajudicial
killings and 1 murder
No details Several police
stations and remand prison July 2017 Attempted white
van abduction,
Colombo Crimes Division (CCD)
Colombo
April 2017 White van
abduction, torture, disappearance
Police Gampola District
April 2017 Abduction of
teenage girl, disappearance
Unknown Kilinochchi District
April 2017 White van
abduction and disappearance
Unknown but was due to appear in court
Jaffna District
February 2017 Abduction in black
van of Sinhalese trades union leader
Unknown Kalutara District
January 2017 2 ex LTTE
rehabilitees re- arrested
TID Kilinochchi District.
October 2016 Abduction and
Torture
Victim refused to say. Family suspect TID.
Kilinochchi District.
Inconvenient Truths: the newspapers they didn’t read | JDS
August 2016 Abduction of ex
Unknown A9 LTTE cadre May 2016 - gagana Protests against 2
abductions in white van
4
Ampara District
July 2016 Abduction in white
van and torture
Jaffna Peninsula
April 2016 White van abduction
Unknown security forces
Unknown Jaffna Peninsula
April 2016 White van abduction
TID Thirukkovil
April 2016 White van abduction
Jaffna Peninsula
Abduction of TNA youth wing leader April 2016 11 Abductions –
probably including Sri Lanka Campaign names
North
April 2016 Abduction Trincomalee April 2016 Abduction in white
van of 2 ex LTTE fishermen
Edward Julien related
Jaffna Peninsula
April 2016 Abduction of 3 ex
LTTE
North
Dec 2015 Report that
Families threatened
Found in TID custody in Colombo Military Intelligence"
In Sri Lanka, the chickens may be coming home Mahinda Rajapaksa with whom
the UN partnered - even as now under Antonio Guterres there is no
accountability in the UN, see below. Now even the UN Committee Against Torture
has gone public with the "new" government's failure to provided requested
information on "Mr. Mendis’s role and responsibilities with regard to allegations
of torture while he was Deputy Inspector General of the Criminal Investigation
Department." We hope to have more on this. (At the UN, nothing has been done
to Dobbins,and still no names.) Noyahr was abducted in May 2008 and was
severely assaulted before being set free. The former Associate Editor of The Nation
newspaper fled the country with his family following the incident fearing for his
life." That, it seems, is what Guterres' UN is trying.
Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric in an article published July 30 by the
Columbia Journalism Review was quoted that " Lee Periscoped while
shouting, 'Fuck you!'repeatedly. (Lee says he was complaining that Dujarrac had
given the Al Jazeera crew a private interview, and excluded him.) 'He creates an
atmosphere of incivility within our working environment,' Dujarrac says." This is a
lie. Inner City Press on June 19 when Dujarric gave a "private briefing" to Al
Jazeera about Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo announcing the US pull out from the
UN Human Right Council said in the hall that is was a "sleazefest." After closing
the door of the focus booth it has been confined to work in for two years by
Dujarric, and long after the Al Jazeera trio including James Bayes and Whitney
Hurst were done, said on Periscope, F-You. Periscope video - still online during this
27 day "investigation" - here. So Dujarric is a censor, justifying the beating up and
banning of a journalist for something he broadcast in a soundproof booth to his
audience. This is disgusting, all the more so because as Inner City Press
has reported, Dujarric told an interlocutor on June 20, before the two beat-downs
of Inner City Press, that things would be worse for it. Guterres and Dujarric and it
seems Smale are.. thugs. Disgusting. On Sri Lanka, the CJR article quotes Inner City
Press: "The UN pulled its officers out of the north there before a 2008 ethnic
cleansing of the Tamil people, and then underreported the genocide. Forty or fifty
thousand people dead. The Sri Lankan government was shooting missiles at
hospitals. Ban Ki-moon admitted it." All true. All Dujarric said, at noon on April 6,
is that he would check to see that the letter has been received. More than 72
hours later, he had not provided even that confirmation. On July 17, after Lacroix'
and Dujarric's boss Antonio Guterres had twice ousted and now banned Inner City
Press from the UN for two weeks and counting, Fox News story here, GAP
blogs I and II, Independent here, arrogant July 20 no answer
here. Independent here, arrogant July 20 no answer here, Inner City Press in
writing asked Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq, "please provide an update on
the (second tier of) vetting of Sri Lanka troops whose deployment was reportedly
deployed. Relatedly, confirm or deny that the Indian army unit based in Uri that
was struck and struck Kashmir is no longer being deployedto MONUSCO, and the
UN's reasoning." The noon briefing Inner City Press was banned from had few
questions, none like this, further showing the decline of Guterres' spokesmen's
full access colloquy partner, here; three days later Haq had not provided any
written answer. (But, while Guterres refused to answer on his ban of Inner City
Press after saying "bonnes vacances" to Lacroix, the latter remained chatting with
UK Ambassador Karen Pierce on 44th Street, pointedly not responding to a
statement about sexual exploitation and abuse by the peacekeepers he is
responsible for, video here. On July 21, Inner City Press raised the lack of answers,
and asked where Guterres is going for weeks: "July 21-1: where will the UN
Secretary General be from July 23 through August 3? How much is it costing the
public? USG Smale, also now on three week vacation, has claimed that the SG's
spokesmen are answering Inner City Press' email questions. First, for example,
none of the four questions submitted yesterday morning, 24 hours ago, has been
answered. Second, even if these e-mailed questions were all being answered it
does not make up for denying Inner City Press the right not only to attend the
noon briefing and other press conferences, but the stakeouts at the Security
Council and elsewhere, such as the Budget Committee meeting stakeout I was
physically ousted from on July 3. It's 18 days of outright censorship, and
counting." Six hours later, only a response on Sri Lanka, four days after that
question was asked. Here it is: "Regarding your question on Sri Lankan troops, we
can say the following: The Secretariat (DPKO-DFS and OHCHR) is working with the
Government of Sri Lanka and all stakeholders, in particular the national Human
Rights Commission, to facilitate the establishment of a domestic screening
process that complies with the requirements of the Policy on Human Rights
Screening of United Nations Personnel. In this regard, DPKO met with Sri Lankan
stakeholders in Colombo last month. Compliance with the policy requirements is
necessary before the UN can receive any further deployments or rotations from
Sri Lanka. It is important that all necessary procedures and institutional
arrangements are in place so that the domestic screening process can meet these
requirements. National stakeholders are working on finalizing and formally
approving their standard operating procedures in line with these requirements,
and we are supporting them in this." The UN under Guterres is failing. On May
16, Inner City Press asked Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq and there was something
of an answer. Video here; UN transcript here: Inner City Press: there has been a
long, outstanding issue raised to DPKO about Sri Lankans that were sent unvetted
by the Government to Lebanon and another commander that was sent to one of
the missions in Africa. Does DPKO have an answer on that yet? Deputy
Spokesman: "regarding the question of the Sri Lankans, as of the past week, the
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka was conducting an additional tier of
vetting for 49 Sri Lankan officers who have been already deployed to the UN
Mission in Lebanon, UNIFIL. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is
undertaking their vetting and the vetting of the remaining 101 military personnel
of the unit who are scheduled to be deployed. We are working together with the
Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the screening arrangements with the
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka comply with UN policy. Compliance with
these arrangements will be required before the UN can receive any further
deployments or rotations from Sri Lanka." But the chair of the HRCSL has
questioned what the UN meant or means by "additional tier." On May 22, Inner
City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City
Press: on Sri Lanka, on these… those who were deployed without being vetted, it
was said, I think it was last week, that somehow an additional tier of… of vetting is
going to be done by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. They've said —
this is a direct quote by the Chairperson — that they don't know what the UN
means by an additional tier since there was… had been no vetting whatsoever to
begin with, and so they're… it's unclear to them…

Spokesman: Let me look into it." Hours later, nothing. Earlier in the process,
Dujarric stonewalled on human rights and corruption issues by withholding
confirmation for three days, despite written questions each day from Inner City
Press, while continuing restrictions on the Press. On April 12, Inner City Press
asked yet another, in person at the noon briefing. And hours after that, this
written answer came from the UN Office of the Spokesperson - Do Not Reply,
presumably from Dujarric given the first person pronoun: "I can confirm that
DPKO has received this letter. The Secretariat is committed to ensuring that all
personnel serving with the UN meet the highest standards of conduct,
competence and integrity, including respect for and commitment to human
rights. Member States that provide personnel to UN peacekeeping operations
have the responsibility to certify that all these personnel have not been involved,
by act or omission, in violations of international humanitarian law or human rights
law, and have not been repatriated on disciplinary grounds from a UN operation.
In the case of Sri Lanka where there are specific human rights concerns, we put in
place additional screening measures in 2016 to help ensure that deployed
personnel meet our standards. Prior to their deployment to UNIFIL, the
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka provided an attestation certifying that the
contingent had not been involved in any violations. However, in February 2018,
we learned that the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission - which the
Government of Sri Lanka had agreed it would undertake human rights screening
of all Sri Lankan personnel - had not yet completed the screening when the
rotation of the unit in UNIFIL started. UN Peacekeeping immediately raised this
with the Sri Lankan authorities and the deployment was stopped. DPKO has
requested that the Sri Lankan government immediately prioritize the completion
of the screening for the 49 officers already deployed to UNIFIL. If concerns arise
regarding the 49 personnel already deployed to UNIFIL, DPKO may request that
they be repatriated and replaced at the Government’s cost. Meanwhile, we’ve
asked the Government of Sri Lanka to formalize the screening arrangements with
the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission. Compliance with these arrangements
will be required before the UN can receive any further deployments or rotations
from Sri Lanka. The Government is cooperating with us in this regard." So the
Government violated the procedure, after other substantive violations, but the
UN says it is cooperating? We'll have more on this. Here is the text of the letter
sent to Lacroix, to the UN in Geneva and to Inner City Press:
TO JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX,
UNDER SECRETARY GENERAL FOR UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS,
NEW YORK.
OHCHR, Geneva
Inner City Press
6 April 2018

Dear Mr. Lacroix,

SRI LANKAN ARMY’S FLOUTING OF VETTING AGREEMENT FOR UN PEACEKEEPERS

We write to draw your attention to allegations that the Sri Lankan Army has
deployed UN peacekeepers in violation of the vetting agreement it reached with
the National Human Rights Commission, as well as their obligation to conduct
their own due diligence process to ensure that those who may constitute a risk to
peacekeeping are not sent out. The failure to abide by these commitments
constitutes a mockery of the whole process. Below are also a few remedial steps
we think should be taken now.

The complaint regarding the vetting comes from no less than the country’s
National Human Rights Commission (HRCSL), a body appointed by the
Government itself. You can see this complaint in a Sinhala letter from the HRCSL to
the President of Sri Lanka in his capacity as commander in chief on the HRCSL
website. The gist of it has been reported in English by exiled Sri Lankan journalists.
It says that the HRCSL and the Sri Lankan Army signed an agreement in 2016 for
the HRCSL to vet Sri Lanka’s peacekeepers but the Army deployed 49 of them to
Lebanon on 18 February 2018 before this process was complete and they had
handed over all the information on them requested by the HRCSL. Indeed, some of
the information requested by the HRCSL is said to be still pending.

Ultimately the responsibility lies with your department for the vetting process in
terms of the Secretary General’s ‘Zero Tolerance” policy on Sexual Exploitation and
Abuse (SEA) as well as his new policy statement which he announced in 2017
“Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: A New
Approach”, which has clearly failed spectacularly again in Sri Lanka. According to
the UN, it seeks to ensure that only “individuals with the highest standards of
integrity, competence and efficiency” are hired – this has not been the record with
regard to Sri Lanka. You will note that to date there has been no criminal
accountability for the 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers sent home from Haiti in
connection with systematic child sexual exploitation from 2004-7, which was
confirmed by an OIOS investigation.

Furthermore, if your department allows peacekeepers from any country to deploy
before the vetting process in place is complete, then you are complicit in
undermining the vetting process.

We, therefore, call on DPKO:

1. To confirm whether (a) the 49 peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were indeed
deployed on 18 February 2018 without being vetted and (b) explain how this was
possible and (c) what you will do to prevent this reoccurring.

2. To confirm that the deployment constitutes a violation of the Memorandum
of Understanding between Troop Contributing Countries and DPKO in respect of
vetting.

3. To inform us whether the HRCSL raised objections about contingent
commander Lt. Col Hewage’s deployment before we raised this issue with you in
our letter of 14th February. We understand (from the HRCSL letter online) that
they had the PHP forms for the 204 Lebanon-bound soldiers from 21 December
2017 so should have been able to identify the problems regarding the contingent
commander that we ourselves identified from a quick online search once his name
was made public. Specifically, were concerns raised by the HRCSL before the 18
February 2018 deployment of the 49 men? Their letter suggests they didn’t know
the men were about to be deployed, despite the issue being raised by us and being
published officially on the army’s website.

4. To make public the vetting/due diligence criteria used by the HRCSL/OHCHR
to screen soldiers. This should not be a secret.

5. To conduct a retrospective vetting of all other Sri Lankan peacekeepers
currently deployed – other than the 200 that went to Mali who were vetted by
OHCHR in Geneva. We know Sri Lankan peacekeepers are currently deployed in
many other countries and it’s probable they haven’t been properly vetted for their
human rights record."
So what will the UN do? On the morning of April 6, Secretary General Antonio
Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric who evicted Inner City Press from the UN
Press Briefing Room where the UN Correspondents Association was meeting
blithely said, just go to UNCA. Well, no - Sri Lanka history here. Back in February
2018 Lacroix was informed of the troubling past history in 2008 in Sri Lanka of a
commander that country is seeking to deploy to the UN in Lebanon as early as
February 18, Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara Hewage, Inner City Press was
informed and exclusively reported on February 14, and got confirmed from the UN
on February 15. Now on February 19, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said that
following questions, the deployment of Hewage has been suspended.
Video here; transcript: "We were asked last week about a Sri Lankan officer who
was scheduled to deploy to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL. I can confirm
that the officer’s deployment is on hold pending a review of the matter. A decision
regarding deployment of this officer will be made once the review is complete. We
are in communication with the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka regarding the
officer’s background and Sri Lanka is cooperating fully with our inquiries. The
United Nations takes reports of potential human rights violations very
seriously. As a matter of policy, we are committed to ensuring that all personnel
serving with the UN meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence and
integrity, including respect for and commitment to human rights." But why not
canceled, given his record? We'll have more on this.

When Lacroix held a rare press conference on January 24, Inner City Press asked
him how the UN is vetting “peacekeepers” from Cameroon, as that country's army
is burning down whole villages in the Anglophone zones. Lacroix insisted that
vetting is intensive. Inner City Press asked about what sources tell it, that the
ostensibly vetting of troops from Sri Lanka, after the bloodbath on the beach
there, consists of one OHCHR staffer in Geneva. Lacroix said he wasn't sure on
that. Video here.

After the press conference Inner City Press was contacted, and ultimately copied
on a letter to Lacroix, below. On February 15, Inner City Press asked UN
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: there's been a
letter sent by… by a number of Tamil Sri Lankan groups to Mr. [Jean-Pierre]
Lacroix about the… the impending… I guess, some type of a commander in UNIFIL
[United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon], Mr. [Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara]
Hewage. And they've documented to him — he's supposed to deploy on Sunday
— that, in fact, he was present during 2008 in Kilinochchi, 2009 in PTK. These
were, you know, highly controversial military actions. So, their complaint is that,
in the past, Office of Human Rights of the UN would vet people, and now that
doesn't appear to be the case anymore just by… Have you seen that letter?
Spokesman: We've… DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] has,
indeed, received the letter you mentioned. They are looking into the case of the
gentleman that you mentioned with… who's scheduled be deployed to
Lebanon. As a matter of policy, we're committed to ensuring that all personnel
serving with the UN meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence and
integrity, including respect for and commitment to human rights. In accordance
with existing policy, the UN should neither select nor deploy for service any
individual who has been involved in violations of international human rights or
humanitarian law. In reviewing the background of personnel to be deployed, we
consider available information from within and outside of the UN system, thus,
will review carefully the information that has been provided to us. Member States
that provide UN personnel to peacekeeping operations also have the responsibility
to certify that the personnel they nominate have not been involved, by act or
omission, in violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or have
been repatriated on disciplinary grounds from any UN operation. In cases where
we have concerns regarding the human rights record of specific troop-contributing
countries, we put in place additional measures to ensure that the personnel
deployed is in line with the UN human rights screening policy. Inner City Press: one
follow-up, because I remember Mr. Lacroix specifically commented on this when
he did his press conference. Seems like these… these… these groups are saying
that, in the past, the UN review these in Geneva, and now they're relying on Sri
Lanka's own human rights commission, and they say the last people were
deployed… Spokesman: I think from what I understood of what I just said, we
review both what the Government tells us and external and internal sources."
We'll see. Here was the letter, c/o Debbie Berman, Copy to OHCHR, Geneva and
InnerCityPress:

Dear Mr. Lacroix, STOP DEPLOYMEMNT OF UN PEACEKEEPER WITH FRONTLINE
COMBAT EXPERIENCE IN SRI LANKA’S 2009 WAR - This is to request you to stop
the planned deployment to Lebanon on Sunday 18 February 2018 of a Sri Lankan
contingent commander with frontline combat command
experience in the final phase of the civil war in 2008-9. We believe that under the
UN’s current vetting criteria, this commander should have been screened out of all
UN peacekeeping duties. We note that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
has been asked to vet UN peacekeepers from Sri Lanka but consider that
ultimately the responsibility lies with your department, as according to the UN, it
seeks to ensure that only “individuals with the highest standards of integrity,
competence and efficiency” are hired. The Sri Lankan Army says Lt. Col.
Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara Hewage is due to head the 12th Force Protection
Company (FPC) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) An online
search of Lt. Col. Hewage reveals he was involved in the assault on Kilinochchi
town in Northern Sri Lanka on 22 December 2008 and located in PTK in late
February 2009."

Inner City Press accompanied and covered Ban Ki-moon's trip to Sri Lanka in 2009,
and subsequent acceptance of Shavendra Silva as a senior UN Peacekeeping
adviser. After Inner City Press published how Palitha Kohona got his former
landlord to sponsor, on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association, a screening
of the government's genocide denial film "Lies Agreed To," Inner City Press was
threatened with ouster from the UN, which occurred, and Inner City Press is
still restricted to minders under the Department of Public Information run by
British Alison Smale. Meanwhile as noted in the letter, the UN does less and less
human rights vetting. We'll have more on this.

While at least four countries have issued travel warnings in the wake of
Bangladesh's arrest and crackdown on the resulting protests, the UN on February
8 hid from the issue, and from the need to better vet the security forces the UN is
accepting from Bangladesh in light of the crackdown. Inner City Press asked,
video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on Bangladesh. I mean, you had
said… the arrest took place some time ago, and various countries have put out
already travel warnings, so I'm wondering, at a minimum… the UN with its country
team there, have they taken note of what's taking place in the street? Deputy
Spokesman: I've told you what I've got on that for now. Inner City Press: given
that there's live fire, you say… very recently, DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping
Operations] put out a statement thanking Bangladesh for its peacekeepers, and
I'm sure they've done great work, but there have been repeated issues of abuses
by the security forces, or seeming abuses, killing of civilians, use of live fire on
protesters. Can you describe what vetting goes on, and… and the recent spate of…
of these thank you, messages put out by DPKO, are they in any relation to… to… to
the vetting process that's going on or issues that have arisen in various
delegations, contingents of peacekeepers? Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq: All
peacekeepers are vetted to make sure that they have not engaged in any practices
that involve the violation of human rights. And we go through that on a country-
by-country basis. Inner City Press: And so have there been any Bangladesh
peacekeepers blocked in the last five years, given the events in the country in
which units by name have taken place in crackdowns on their own civilians?
Deputy Spokesman: We raise all concerns with any particular members of
incoming peacekeeping troops with the troop-contributing country to make sure
that no one is deployed who does not meet our standards." What standards are
those? In other news, with Maldives' President declaring a state of emergency, on
February 5 Inner City Press asked the spokesman for UN Secretary General
Antonio Guterres Stephane Dujarric about it at noon on February 5, before the US
then spoke, below. Under Guterres and his outgoing head of Political Affairs
Jeffrey Feltman, both headed to Korea, it took the UN a full 18 hours to come out
with two paragraphs on February 6, below. On February 8, UN Assistant Secretary
General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca was to brief the UN Security Council
about the Maldives under "Any Other Business." But Jenca did not speak to the
Press on the way in or out of the Council. Past 2 pm when Kuwait's Ambassador,
the President of the Security Council for February, gave a summary of the day's
meetings, Maldives wasn't on it. Inner City Press asked, loudly, but no answer;
later it was explained that since AOB topics are not listed in the UN Journal, the
President feels he cannot speak to it. It would be up to the Secretariat. But under
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretariat says and disclosed less and less. If a briefing
on a crackdown happens but no one was speak about it, does it make a sound?
Some ask, why is Guterres not sending some sort of envoy or mediator? It can't be
that he feels he needs total consent: he sent Nigeria's former president Obasanjo
to Kenya, where both sides said they never met with him. So why the different
approach to the Maldives? We'll have more on this. The UN's statement from
earlier on February 6: "The Secretary-General is seriously concerned about the
unfolding situation in the Maldives, in particular the declaration of a state of
emergency and the entry of security forces into the Supreme Court premises. The
Secretary-General urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the
constitution and rule of law, lift the state of emergency as soon as possible, and
take all measures to ensure the safety and security of the people in the country,
including members of the judiciary." From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: it
seems like President Abdulla Yameen [Abdul Gayoom] has not complied with
releasing the opponents. In fact, he's issued a state of emergency. I'm wondering,
is there… is DPI… is DPA (Department of Political Affairs) actually involved, or is it
just… is it issuing statements from New York, or is it trying to speak with him and
engage and…? Spokesman: I think we're very concerned with the ongoing
developments in the Maldives, including what we've seen in the last 24
hours. We're following it very closely. And I would… you know, the Secretary-
General would, again, call on the Government to respect the court ruling and for
restraint to be exercised. And we… I do expect a more formal statement on this
shortly." A the UN, shortly means 18 hours. How far will today's UN go to placate
some countries, whileignoring others and restricting the Press? On January 26 UN
"global communications" chief Alison Smale flew to Charleston, South Carolina for
a photo op and UNTV video with China's Xiamen Airlines for having painting the
UN's "SDGs" logo on the side of an airplane. This without having answered Press
questions about her Department of Public Information's malfeasance with
resources allocated by the General Assembly forKiswahili and about the lack under
her "leadership" of any content neutral UN media access rules. Afterward, when
Inner City Press asked for the mp4 video of her South Carolina junket - Inner City
Press is informed that the plane she celebrated could not in fact fly - it was told to
"Ask UN Webcast," which is under Smale. They were asked - and have not given
the video. Nor has Smale offered any response to a detailed petition two weeks
ago, while re-tweeting her former employer the NYT and current boss Antonio
Guterres. But who is making who look bad? And how can a former NYT editor
have no content neutral media access rules, and no answers? As she restricts Inner
City Press from its UN reporting onCameroon, Myanmar, Kenya, Yemen and
elsewhere? We'll have more on this. While any country would try to get the UN to
promote its airline, if the UN would do it, Smale is the UN official who responsible
for Inner City Press being restricted and evicted as it reports on the UN bribery
scandal of Patrick Ho and China Energy Fund Committee. Smale hasn't even
deigned to answer petitions in this regard, inSeptember (she said she recognized
the need for the "courtesy" of a response, never given) and in January -- too busy
flying to South Carolina to promote an airline:

Today's UN of Antonio Guterres, who just metwith ICC indictee Omar al Bashir,
and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed who has refused Press questions on her
rosewood signatures and now the refoulement of 47 people to Cameroon from
"her" Nigeria, has become a place of corruption and censorship. On January 30 as
Inner City Press sought to complete its reporting for the day on Guterres' Bashir
meeting and Mohammed's Cameroon no-answer, it had a problem. It was invited
to the month's UN Security Council president's end of presidency reception, 6:30 to
8:30 - but with its accreditation reduced by censorship, it could not get back into
the UN after 7 pm, to the already delayed UN video. It ran to at least enter the
reception - but the elevator led to a jammed packed third floor, diplomats lined up
to shake the outgoing UNSC president's hand. Inner City Press turn to turn tail
back to the UN, passing on its way favored, pro-UN correspondents under no such
restriction. Periscope here. Inner City Press has written about this to the head of
the UN Department of Public Information Alison Smale, in Sepember2017 - no
answer but a new threat - and this month, when Smale's DPI it handing out full
access passes to no-show state media. No answer at all: pure censorship, for
corruption. Smale's DPI diverted funds allocated for Kiswahili, her staff say, now
saying they are targeted for retaliation. This is today's UN. Amid UN bribery
scandals, failures in countries from Cameroon to Yemen and declining
transparency, today's UN does not even pretend to have content neutral rules
about which media get full access and which are confined to minders or escorts to
cover the General Assembly.

Inner City Press, which while it pursue the story of Macau-based businessman Ng
Lap Seng's bribery of President of the General Assembly John Ashe was evicted by
the UN Department of Public Information from its office, is STILL confined to
minders as it pursues the new UN bribery scandal, of Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio
allegedly bribing President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, and Chad's Idriss
Deby, for CEFC China Energy.
Last week Inner City Press asked UN DPI where it is on the list to be restored to
(its) office, and regain full office - and was told it is not even on the list, there is no
public list, the UN can exclude, permanently, whomever it wants. This is
censorship.
Posted by Thavam