Questions raised on Ban's handling of Sri Lanka war-crimes panel
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 September 2010, 10:34 GMT]
The panel of experts on war crimes in Sri Lanka, which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced in March, is supposed to complete its work within four months of formally beginning. On September 14, Inner City Press (ICP) asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky why the panel had not yet even begun. Nesirky replied that it would be held Thursday afternoon. ICP reported that the meeting was not listed on Ban's schedule while several similar meetings were listed.
“Not everything is on the schedule,” Nesirky replied. What is the purpose of publishing the schedule that, if a meeting about war crimes is not listed?, ICP asked. “There are any number of reasons some things are on the schedule and some things are not,” Nesirky said. “Internal meetings typically are not,” ICP said quoting Nesirky.
The members of the war-crimes advisory panel, Marzuki Darusman, a former Attorney General from Indonesia, Yasmin Sooka, Member of South Africa's Truth Commisssion, and Steven Ratner, Law professor at Michigan University, US, were given 4-month period by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to complete the first report. The panel was announced in March, the panel met for the first time on 20th July, but the official start date has not been announced.
There were also questions on conflict of interest related to Sri Lanka. Ban's son in law, Siddarth Chatterjee served in the Indian Peace Keeping force in Sri Lanka while serving as an Indian Army officer. ICP said it is waiting confirmation on this matter from Nesirky.
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