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UN Sri Lanka Report Not Transmitted to Geneva, Ban Waits for What?


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 24 — Not only has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not asked for any Security Council, General Assembly or Human Rights Council action on the UN Panel of Experts report on war crimes in Sri Lanka — he hasn’t even transmitted it to Geneva, his spokesman acknowledged to Inner City Press on Tuesday:

Inner City Press: This is just a factual question that somebody has raised. That report of the Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka… I mean, rather, has the Secretary-General transmitted this report in some sort of a type of a formal fashion to either the High Commissioner on Human Rights or to the Human Rights Council in the run-up to its June session?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: As you know, we have said that the Secretary-General is studying the recommendations in the report that was submitted to him. That’s the first thing. The second is that he is also awaiting a response from the Sri Lankan authorities, an official response. In the meantime, he has already said that he will take up the recommendation that was made with regard to looking at what there is to learn internally about the UN’s response to what happened in Sri Lanka. And that mechanism of whatever form it takes will be going ahead in due course. With regard to the specific points you’ve made, the report is publicly available, in its entirety. It was published as you know, and is available for Member States and for the different parts of the UN system to see.

Inner City Press: I don’t know why the UN works that way, but there seems to be some expectation of a formal transmittal from New York to Geneva, and I just wanted to know… I mean, maybe I am wrong, but has that… has that taken place or will it be taking place?

Spokesperson: Well, as I say, it’s in the public domain. It’s publicly available and many Member States and others have seen it and I am sure that they are taking it rather seriously.

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