By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 19 — The scanned portion of the UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka war crimes leaked, presumptively by the government, to The Island newspaper has been obtained by Inner City Press and is being put online here.
It shows that the Panel’s three members signed off on the report on March 31, 2011. Why was it only on April 12 that it was handed to Ban Ki-moon, who on April 13 gave it to Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN General Shavendra Silva?
Inner City Press spoke both with Silva and with Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona on the evening of April 19, arriving uninvited at a reception at Kohona’s residence. Despite statements by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesmen that the report would be released, Kohona argued that it should not be made available to the public.
Kohona emphasized, as it seems his government did to Ban Ki-moon, that because April 13 onward was a holiday in Sri Lanka, the UN should not release the full report. Kohona said that Monday was a lunar holiday, and the UN could not release the report — giving a new meaning to Ban Ki-MOON.
Those days were used to leak portions of the report to The Island newspaper, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for mass protests against the UN report on May 1.
Ban, with Kohona looking on, with Silva, 196 pages & 36 hours not shown
At Kohona’s reception, the Permanent Representative of Egypt — Maged Abdelaziz, the same one as under Hosni Mubarak — arrived and chatted with Silva and Kohona, Egypt, as head of the Non Aligned Movement, pressured Ban Ki-moon against any real investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Abdelaziz left early, as did Inner City Press. Silva said he had two other events to attend — part of a campaign about and against the Panel of Experts report. We’ll have more on this.