Matthew Russell Lee,
UNITED NATIONS, October 26 — After Sri Lanka’s special envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe met Wednesday morning with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press asked him how the meeting had gone. Video here and below.
“Constructive,” he called it, saying that the government’s Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission report, due November 15, will be presented nearly a year later in October 2012 to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Inner City Press asked Sri Lanka had again complained about the transmission to Geneva of the UN Report (or “Darusman Report,” as the government insists on calling it, referring to Report Panel chairman Marzuki Darusman). Sri Lanka Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona answered that it’s a separate issue. For this any other verbatim quotes, see video below.
Multiple sources have told Inner City Press that in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s September meeting with Ban Ki-moon, Ban berated his staff for not having given sufficient notice to the Sri Lankan mission. On the other hand, the number of people the Report says were killed seems more important than technical niceties of notice.
Before the meeting began, there was a photo opportunity. Entering before Ban were, among others, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights representative Ivan Simonovic, and Department of Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe and the staffer who accepted Tamil protesters’ letter in the past.
Then Mahinda Samarasinghe entered, accompanied by Kohona and his deputy, Shavendra Silva — not accompanied by his recently hired lawyers. At the end, the talk turned to Diwali, which Kohona emphasized is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. And then they were gone. Watch this site.