3RD LEAD (Adds details)

Media questions fate of missing report on UN inaction during Vanni war

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 October 2012, 18:25 GMT]
Nearly a year has passed since a heavily criticized UN Secretary General, had asked the former Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, Thoraya Obaid, to submit a review within 4 months on UN inaction during the 2009 Vanni massacre. However, in an un-announced change in the committee leadership, UK's Charles Petrie replaced Thoraya Obaid. Even Petrie, is now engaged in Norway's Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI). But, the report on the UN in Sri Lanka is yet to come out. Where is the report, asked the Inner City Press, on Friday. Answering the question, the UN spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, confirmed the incompletion and non-availability of the report.

Thoraya Obaid
Thoraya Obaid, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations from 2000 to 2010. Obaid is from Saudi Arabia.
Charles Petrie
Charles Petrie, UN's Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide
The task of submitting a report within four months on UN performance during Vanni war was set by the UNSG on 12 September 2011, following the UNSG panel, in its report, recommending such a procedure.

“The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates,” the three member panel of UN Experts recommended.

The Panel of Experts observed that during the final stages of the war, the United Nations political bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians.

When asked by the ICP why there has not been any report issued, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky responded that "Obaid had not been able to do the report, but that Charles Petrie was not on the case and would issue a report shortly."

ICP reported that even "[t]hat hasn't happened either, and ICP has since learned that Petrie has another job, with the Norway government funded Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI), which is also controversial," as involvement in two different UN actions is against Article 100, according to ICP.

In February 2009, during the height of war, ICP asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Michele Montas for the UN's estimate of civilian deaths, and whether it is higher or lower that the 1200 figure used in the Gaza conflict earlier in 2009. Ms Montas replied that "we are trying to save people, not count bodies."

Ms. Montas was asked, and denied, that the withholding of the UN estimate is politically motivated.

In a recent report based on eye-witness accounts by UN staffers present during the last months of Sri Lanka's war, Dr. Julian Vigo, an American academic, exposed United Nation's officials' inaction, failure to speak out and the UN's willingness to acquiesce with the Rajapakse government's rights violations and state sanctioned killings of tens of thousands of unarmed civilians.

Vigo further said, anyone with a modicum of ethics should not be furious about her report or any other but rather these individuals should be concerned about the serious actions that led to the death of 40,000 humans. Obfuscating nutrition reports, allowing certain UN agencies to send chalkboards to a starving population, the creation of a concentration camp to house people, to remain silent about the illegal actions of the Sri Lanka government. These are all reasons to be furious.

In February 2009, when asked by ICP on casualty figures, and how the numbers compared to those in Gaza, the UN humanitarian chief John Holmes who has been traveling in Sri Lanka with the Government of Sri Lanka, replied that "there is not enough access to estimate casualties, and that it is not productive to make comparisons like that."

UN organs in Sri Lanka were widely believed to be withholding casualty figures of civilians. Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group, also said that UNOSAT, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme in New York that researches into conflicts worldwide, first made public satellite images that pointed to widespread shelling in civilian enclaves, but removed the images within a day of making them public.

In March 2009, ICP reported that after claiming of Sri Lanka that "we don't count bodies," the UN has now involuntarily admitted that the "minimum number of documented civilian casualties since 20 January 2009, as of 7 March 2009 in the conflict area of Mullaitivu Region [is] 9,924 casualties including 2,683 deaths and 7,241 injuries," in a leaked document of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs obtained by the Inner City Press.


Related Articles:
05.10.12   Creating historical fiction on Mu'l'livaaykkaal massacre
24.09.12   UN complicit in Mu'l'livaaykaal killings, say UN humanitaria..
13.03.12   Boyle warns Tamil diaspora against "Stall and Delay" diploma..
08.02.12   Boyle: Appointing alleged war-criminals to UN posts, a viola..
08.01.12   No amnesty for war-criminals, says UN's Navi Pillay
27.09.11   Inaction on Sri Lanka undermines UN Convention: Canadian for..
22.09.11   US cables show how international silence enabled Sri Lanka’s..
15.08.11   Oppressive Sri Lanka benefited from Ban Ki-moon’s lax hand: ..
30.04.11   Boyle: Word "Genocide" missing in UN Panel's war crimes repo..
26.04.11   Ban Ki Moon, Accessory After the Fact to Sri Lanka war crime..
17.04.11   Panel’s report ‘cannot erase the stain on the UN’
11.04.11   UN served a ploy to surrender killings
05.06.10   Alston: Domestic inquiries into extrajudicial killings insuf..
16.10.09   States financing Tamil internment, UN, complicit in Crimes a..
08.05.09   UN violating Charter obligation to promote, encourage human ..

External Links:
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UN Panel 5 Months Late
ICP: At UN on Sri Lanka, Ban Sat on Hands Six Months, Now Petrie Panel End in July?
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UN's 4 Month Report Not Done in Year
ICP: In Sri Lanka, UN Has Casualty Estimate But Won't Release,
UNSG: Secretary-General Forwards Sri Lanka Expert Panel Report to Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN: Ban stresses need for accountability process over end to civil war


Latest 15 Reports
16.08.19 13:25   Photo
SL Archaeology Department resumes plans to construct controversial ‘chaitya’ at Koonith-theevu
15.08.19 21:39  
Wickramasinghe lacks courage to meet protesting Tamil mothers in North
14.08.19 23:31   Photo
2006 genocidal massacre at Chengchoalai campus marked in Vanni, Jaffna amidst PTA-threats
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
10.08.19 22:49   Photo
Sinhala encroachers storm into 100 acres of lands at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai
09.08.19 14:28  
SL Forest Department retains 8,034 hectares of pasturelands in Paduvaan-karai, Batticaloa
08.08.19 20:05   Photo
Colombo converts 2000 acres of ex-HSZ lands citing India-assisted airport expansion in Jaffna
07.08.19 23:28   Photo
Book on Santhiya becomes narration of Tamil struggle incorporating Marxist ideas in early 80s
06.08.19 23:27   Photo
State discrimination causes death of 1000 cows, milk production drops by 5,500 litres in Batticaloa
05.08.19 23:55   Photo
Pirapaharan’s statements between 1984 and 1993 reproduced in book form in Europe
04.08.19 23:47   Photo
Threatened female activist suffers injuries in suspicious ‘accident’ in Batticaloa
03.08.19 23:55  
SL Army puts up military post, Buddhist chanting dominates Kanniyaa
02.08.19 21:18  
Tamils must fight back against illegal seizure of lands by SL Forest Department: Kurunathan
Find this article at: