US intervention in Lee's UN imbroglio imperative, says Washington think tank

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 June 2012, 00:05 GMT]
Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank, commenting on the attempts to oust journalist Matthew Lee of Inner City Press from covering the UN, said Wednesday that the US "absolutely should stand firm in protecting the principle of freedom of the press," and "make clear to the U.N. that it [the US] supports Lee and other controversial journalists trying to retain their press credentials." Heritage's Brett Schaefer also noted that journalists commenting on investigations being carried out by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) for "unethical and unprofessional behavior," have said that personal animosity of some members of UNCA has overridden professional judgement.

Matthew Lee, covers UN for ICP
Matthew Lee, covers UN for ICP
"Regarded as abrasive by some of his colleagues, Lee has had volatile arguments with other UNCA reporters, and has frequently complained about other journalists’ failing to credit him for breaking news. He has also written stories accusing the UNCA president, Giampaolo Pioli, of a conflict of interest involving Sri Lanka. These personal disputes lie at the heart of the UNCA investigation," Schaefer, the Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, said in his opinion piece.

While the self-governing UNCA may oust Lee from its membership, UNCA membership is not a pre-requisite for obtaining UN press credentials, the U.N. Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) which grants press credentials said.

Lee's current credentials expire in August.

"Lee is persistent, is willing to ask uncomfortable questions, and has cultivated an impressive network of sources within the U.N. In short, he’s a pain in their neck at every press briefing," Schaefer wrote, and added "Lee is also unusual in that he focuses on the inner workings of the U.N. — stories that are off the radar of larger news outlets. For instance, Lee broke the story about the discovery of 40 pounds of cocaine in a diplomatic pouch in the U.N. mailroom."

“He may not always get it right, but Matthew covers the U.N. like no one else, often scooping much larger news organizations,” the New York Post’s Benny Avni says. “Matthew digs into how it works — and often into how it doesn’t.”

Matthew Lee also earned Colombo's ire by consistently raising war-crime issues against Sri Lanka's Acting permanant UN representative, Shavendra Silva, and complicity in the white flag incident against Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN, Palitha Kohona.


Related Articles:
08.04.12   Sri Lanka news coverage in UN presents challenges, ICP says
18.03.12   Shavendra Silva declared "persona non grata" to British even..
22.09.11   Colombo accused of "buying" influence in UN
26.07.11   When Kohona met Diaz
13.05.11   Kohona admits to sending "Killer SMS"


External Links:
Foxnews:  Journalist Who Exposes U.N. Corruption Disappears From Google Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331106,00.html#ixzz1yNhG94Gj
Wiki: Good Journalism at the U.N.?
ICP: Inner City Press
Guardian: UN journalists threaten to expel reporter

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35313