UN Resident Coordinator lies to NPC Councillor: Inner City Press

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 March 2016, 13:11 GMT]
Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan was the first one to react in the island after the journalist of Inner City Press (ICP), Matthew Russell Lee, who is renowned for reporting on the inner workings of the UN system was expelled on two-hour notice from the UN Headquarters on 19 February. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information had revoked Mr Lee's resident correspondent pass and his access to the press office. On Tuesday this week, Ms Ananthy, who came back to Jaffna after addressing the Human Rights Council session in Geneva, received a written reply from Una McCauley, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNICEF Resident Representative in Colombo that Mr Lee is now provided non-Resident Correspondent access. ICP Journalist Matthew Russell Lee, after seeing the letter received by Ananthy, commented it as an “untruthful and Kafka-esque response”.

Matthew Russell Lee, Ananthy Sasitharan
“The UN / UNICEF letter ignores that Inner City Press under Gallach's order is being Banned from covering the Security Council, for example this week on Western Sahara,” the ICP said providing video evidence.

The letter from UN Resident Coordinator was in response to the open letter by Ms Ananthy in which she had stated: “On behalf of the stateless nation of Eelam Tamils, I am urging you to resolve the dispute and restore UN-accredited media access to Matthew Russell Lee and take disciplinary action against the elements threatening free speech at the esteemed world body.”

“Since my election to office in 2013, I have been continuously involved in addressing the plight of our people at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva and outside. During this engagement I have found the historic contribution of Mr Lee accessible at the ICP website and at other sources to be immensely useful in shaping my insight on the workings at UN Headquarters. The people in my constituency have high regards to the investigative journalism practiced by the renowned journalist Matthew Russell Lee,” Ms Ananthy had noted in her initial letter.

The reply letter from UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo, dated 14 March 2016 said: "I am pleased to inform you that after careful consideration by the Under Secretary General for Communication and Public Information the status of Mr Matthew Russell Lee's accreditation has been changed. He now has the status as a non-Resident Correspondent and continues to attend UN Media briefings. This status will be reviewed in four month period."

The ICP responded with following observations after seeing the response sent to the NPC Councillor:

It is precisely this downgrade that the Northern Provincial Council and others have been protesting - so it is disingenuous at best to begin "I am pleased to inform you."

Second, the decision USG Gallach took was taken without once speaking to Inner City Press - it cannot be considered "after careful consideration." In fact, it is USG Gallach who should be reviewed and disciplined for totally ignoring due process and censoring the Press.

Third, the UN / UNICEF letter ignores that Inner City Press under Gallach's order is being Banned from covering the Security Council, for example this week on Western Sahara. Video here. Just because the Security Council failed as tens of thousands were killed in Sri Lanka does not mean that Banning Inner City Press from covering it can itself be covered up.

This disingenuous response is a new low for the UN in Sri Lanka, for DPA in New York -- whose USg Jeffrey Feltman is aware of the ouster of the Press and the letter -- for Ban Ki-moon and perhaps for USG Gallach (there are more and more low points for her - watch this site.)

The underlying incident, which Gallach never describes in her February 19 letter, involves Inner City Press principled stand that the Press has a right to be in the UN Press Briefing Room, particularly to cover an event by an organization which has taken money from several of those who indicted (and some pleading guilty) to bribery in the UN and which gave one of the indicted, Ng Lap Seng, a photo op with Ban Ki-moon.

Collusion with genocide - from Sri Lanka to Burundi to beyond - and escalating corruption: this is today's UN. We'll have more on this.

Related Articles:
12.03.16   Zeid replays Hashemites’ role as stooges after World Wars, s..
05.03.16   Largest donor US orchestrates UN OHCHR actions, says Boyle
22.02.16   UN officials aid, abet rape of Tamil women by SL military -B..
10.02.16   US, UN bureaucracy behind Zeid's soft stand on Sri Lanka: Pr..

External Links:
ICP: UNICEF Lies to Sri Lanka Official for Ban & Gallach As ICP Banned from UNSC, Office



Latest 15 Reports
18.08.19 23:50   Photo
SL TID detains outspoken Tamil doctor at Pazhai hospital
17.08.19 23:08   Photo
SLA Jaffna commander refuses to release Palaali lands at meeting presided by Wickramasinghe
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
Find this article at: