UN offers immunity to Indian diplomat accused of visa fraud

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 December 2013, 21:12 GMT]
In a blatant exhibition of skullduggery and political nepotism, Secretary General of the United Nations (UNSG), Ban Ki Moon, Monday, has approved the appointment to a diplomatic position, a New York-based Indian diplomat, accused of visa fraud, thereby affording her diplomatic immunity from alleged criminal conduct. Earlier, U.N. raised no opposition to UN appointments of Sri Lanka's alleged war criminals, ex-military General Shavendra Silva, under whose command Tamil civilians were massacred, and Palitha Kohona, who has a complaint pending in the International Criminal Court over his complicity the killing of surrendees in the Sri Lanka war. Political observers say U.N. has become a safe haven for friendly states to provide diplomatic protection from past crimes and to whitewash alleged criminal conduct.

However, US remains reluctant to drop visa fraud charges against the diplomat, Devyani Kohobragade, and while she got accreditation from the UN in her current posting at India's permanent mission paving the way for full immunity, observers say, absent a positive acknowledgement from the U.S. State Department, full diplomatic immunity may not be forthcoming.

Observers said that even at high levels of Indian Government, the propensity for doubletalk and misleading the public (and the U.S.) is visible in the Kohobragade case. India's stand was that the remaining dollars not paid to the "servant" was sent to India in Rupees, $350 was deducted for the maid's personal use of the facilities such as telephone, and a whopping 50% of the contractually agree salary was paid in "cash" with signed receipts.

Moon's political closeness to India cannot be not influenced by the fact that Mr. Ki-moon’s daughter is married to a retired Indian army general Siddarth Chatterjee, who also served in the IPKF and who had consistently been writing political opinion pieces in the Indian media against the struggle of the Eezham Tamils, India observers said.

"India, while conspicuosly silent and avoid comment on-going atrocities in the neighboring Sri Lanka, where rape, torture and other crimes against humanity were and are being perpetrated on women by the Sri Lanka state, appears to be flexing its diplomatic muscle to force U.S. to provide exception to India's woman diplomat who is accused of lying and committing visa fraud," Sri Lanka observers say.

Meanwhile, Tamil Naadu former Chief Minister and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi said that he was saddened by the fact that the Indian government was least bothered about the brutal killing of Isaipriya, a Sri Lankan Tamil broadcaster, but showed a lot of interest in the case of Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat in New York, Times of India reported.


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External Links:
ToI: India-US diplomatic row


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