In Sri Lanka, Red Cross Barred from “Interment” Camps Despite UN’s Rosy Picture

[Inner City Press] [Inner City Press] While the International Committee of the Red Cross went public Wednesday in Geneva with the fact that the Sri Lankan government is running interment camps to which Red Cross workers do not have access, in New York the UN’s Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe said that “since the Secretary General’s […]

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Back from Sri Lanka, UN’s Holmes Admits NGO Killings and Restrictions Not Raised

[ Inner City Press ] Just back to the United Nations from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s surreal tour of Sri Lanka, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador John Sawers if the UN paying for interment camps for Tamils rounded up from throughout northern Sri Lanka compiles with international humanitarian law. Ambassador Sawers, rather than answer, […]

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UN in Sri Lanka Admits 400 Killed, No Word from Ban Ki-moon on Visit

[ Inner City Press ] In Colombo, UN spokesman Gordon Weiss has acknowledged that at least 400 civilians were killed over the weekend in northern Sri Lanka. Weiss claimed that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been doing everything possible. But when asked, repeatedly, if he was calling for a cease-fire, Ban Ki-moon did not. Ban […]

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On Sri Lanka, UN’s Nambiar Resists Briefing the Council on His “Confidential” Trip: Is a USG Subpoena Needed?

[Inner City Press] Despite having been sent as the UN’s envoy to the “bloodbath on the beach” in Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff Vijay Nambiar is now reluctant to give the Security Council even a closed door briefing on the crisis, sources told Inner City Press late Tuesday. One well-placed Council diplomat said […]

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UN Sends Nambiar to Sri Lanka, Quiet Diplomacy and Ships Off the Beach?

[Inner City Press] With even the UN now speaking of a “bloodbath on the beach” in Northern Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has quietly sent his titular chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, a former Indian diplomat, to the region to try what the UN is calling “quiet diplomacy.” Some in Ban’s inner circle […]

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On Sri Lanka, UN Speak of Siege, Calls Cease-Fire Unrealistic, Only Private Diplomacy

[ Inner City Press ] As military action recommences in northern Sri Lanka, the UN’s top humanitarian John Holmes on Wednesday repeated government assurances that it would be in “siege mode.” Inner City Press asked Holmes, given his estimate of 100,000 civilians trapped in 17 square kilometers, if the UN is asking for a cease-fire. […]

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In Sri Lanka, UN Staff Denied “Freedom of Movement” But UN Won’t Name Them

[ Inner City Press ] The UN on Tuesday refused to confirm the names of UN staff members held “without freedom of movement” in Sri Lankan government camps, and refused to explain why the UN said nothing about their detention until asked about it by Inner City Press on April 13. UN Associate Spokesman Farhan […]

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In Sri Lanka, UN Still Withholds Casualty Numbers, Funds Detention Camps

[Inner City Press] For two weeks, Inner City Press has asked at the UN whether international aid funds will be used for detention camps in which those fleeing the conflict zone in Sri Lanka will be detained, until the end of 2009 or longer. Holmes on Monday confirmed that the UN has “offered to assist […]

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UN’s Ban Defends Lack of Sri Lanka Ceasefire Call, Misunderstands His Powers and Duties, Council President Says

[Inner City Press] As bloodshed and civilian casualties mount in Sri Lanka, at the UN in New York Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked by Inner City Press why, unlike in Gaza, the Congo and elsewhere, he has not called for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Mr. Ban responded at some length, reading from notes. In […]

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