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Jun-12-2012 14:43printcomments

On Sri Lanka, UN Panel 5 Months Late, Threat to Press Copied to Okabe Ignored?

UN reporter reels under UN attack; reports about Sri Lanka war criminals brought more than Matthew Russel Lee bargained for.

Ban ki-moon

(UNITED NATIONS) - The UN under Ban Ki-moon does not follow through on Sri Lanka accountability, nor on Sri Lankan threatens against journalists which emanate from inside and are even copied to the UN.

On June 11 Inner City Press asked Ban's lead spokesman Martin Nesirky two questions about Sri Lanka. First, what ever happened to the four-month panel named in September 2011, headed by Thoraya Obaid, to review the UN's own performance in the bloody final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka?

And, Inner City Press asked, what is the UN's response to a sample threat sent to Inner City Press on June 9, copied to the UN's official in Washington Marie Okabe and two others in the UN, that this reporter should "swim like a brick" -- does the UN acknowledge any role in the creation of this climate, given that Ban advisers are known to have spread rumors Inner City Press is funded by the LTTE, just because Inner City Press questions make Ban look bad?

Nesirky said he was not aware of the threat copied to Okabe, that it wasn't sent to him. On the panel, he said its work continues. But it has already been nine months and not the stated four, Inner City Press followed up.

Nesirky said that Charles Petrie, an official Inner City Press has written about in Myanmar and Burundi, is leading up the panel.

When did Petrie replace Obaid? Inner City Press asked. One wondered: why didn't the UN every announce the change?

Nesirky said that Obaid never took up the post. One wonders: why didn't the UN every announce that? And what WILL they do about the threats, and their role?



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Roger M. June 13, 2012 8:55 am (Pacific time)

To be honest, Lee's work was just pathetically one-sided and it often resembled a rant by someone being fed blatant lies. He won't be missed by anyone other than his pay-masters who kept him in business.

Editor: Yeah they said the Nuremburg Trials were really biased against the Nazi's.  I must tell you, it takes a certain type of sad character to think war crime suspects deserve a fair shake.  For the record, I saw and also republished many of Matthew's articles regarding this and they were well presented. 

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.