Saturday, December 10, 2016

On Myanmar, Ban's Nambiar's Canned Statement Does Not Mention Rohingya

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- Myanmar was the quiet topic of the UN Security Council on the evening of November 17, between meetings on South Sudan and Syria chemical weapons.
 Inner City Press was informed that while the US requested the closed door briefing, the US agreed as a condition that there would be no outcome to the meeting. 
The briefer was Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Myanmar as he was, disasterously, on Sri Lanka. And sources tell Inner City Press that amid the burning of Rohingyas' homes and rapes and killings in Rakhine State, Nambiar advised the Council to go easy on Myanmar and give them time. This is is disgusting, all around.  The UN has refused to provide a summary of what Nambiar said. 
On December 9, Inner City PRess asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, Tweeted video hereUN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: I was reading Mr. Nambiar's statement yesterday, I've word-searched it, but maybe it's somehow in there between the lines.  I didn't see the word "Rohingya," which seems to be one of the main issues.  Like, basically, the Government says… the Government or the army says don't use that word; it's inflammatory, and the people themselves call themselves Rohingya, and people all over the world say that's what this con… tension is about.  Was it an intentional decision to go with the kind of the army route, or does he, in fact, use… that's why I asked previously, when he briefed the Council, did he use that word?  Is it a word that he doesn't use?  And if so, why not?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, he has used this word in the past, and the Secretary-General, if you… if you see the Secretary-General's own statements, has used the word "Rohingya."  In fact, I've said it just now. 
On December 1, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: on Myanmar, I'm sure you've seen the… the opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by José Ramos-Horta, former UN employee, saying the Secretary-General should go… go to Myanmar and… before his term expires in order to prevent this ethnic cleansing or genocide.  So I wanted to know, what's your response to that… to that recommendation?  And also whether the Secretary-General or anyone in the UN has spoken to Bangladesh about reports that the fact the border is entirely sealed and those trying to flee the army's violence cannot cross it?

Spokesman:  I do not believe anybody at the Secretary-General's Office has spoken to the Bangladeshi authorities.  I do believe there has been some contacts from the various funds and programmes and at other levels on the issue regarding the border.  I don't think it's realistic to expect the Secretary-General will be able to go to Myanmar before the end of his term.  That is not to say that he is extremely worried about the current situation and, I think, as expressed by his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide or the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

ICP Question:  How about his… his… his good offices' envoy?  Is there some… I guess I want to request again… just because the accounts that I heard of what Mr. [Vijay] Nambiar said to the Council was basically give Aung-… give the country time, which some interpreted as basically a hands-off policy…

Spokesman:  I don't think… I don't think… I think it is… the authorities in the country need to live up to their responsibilities, and we need to make sure that happens.  I don't think anyone here is taking a hands-off policy.
Ban Ki-moon can be hands-on:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not even recuse himself.
  On September 27, Inner City Press directly asked Chatterjee about it, on Periscope. here. Vine here. Chatterjee hardly answered the long-standing questions; nor did Ban's spokesman. Neither set up the requested interview. 
Likewise, Inner City Press' requests for a copy of Ban Ki-moon's October 14, 2016 speech to the Council on Korean Americans, for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought, and its questions about a UN Ethics Office opinion on that and on Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo being a UN official and on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered Bank and South Korea's Doosan have gone unanswered, even as reiterated at the November 4 UN noon briefing. Video here.
On September 24, Inner City Press put these conflict of interest questions to Han Seung-soo, who left after the briefest of answers, here. 
Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is involved with KD Power in mining projects in Myanmar's eastern Shan State, see below -- and in greenwashing "renewal energy" projects in Myanmar, here, consonant with Ban and his spokesman's silence on Morocco using corporate wind power projects to greenwash a land- (and map-) grab of Western Sahara for COP 22, here.
On November 17, Inner City Press again asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, this time the deputy, Video here, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: my second question on Myanmar was, it’s now eight days ago that… when Stéphane [Dujarric] asked, I sent him links, including to a Myanmar Government website, about Ban Ki-moon’s brother through KD Power, engaged in mining in the country, and with Bosung Powertec, engaged in a tour with a visiting UN delegation.  So I’m just wondering, this… the South Korean mission also asked me for the same links, and I gave them to them.  I’m not sure in what capacity they asked for them, but it seems like… what is the answer on the brother of the Secretary-General engaged in financial activity in Myanmar as part of a UN visiting delegation?  Have you determined what was his role in what the Government says is a UN delegation?
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq:  I haven’t any information about him participating in any UN work.   
 Why not?
  On November 9, Inner City Press since Ban's spokesman had refused to answer asked again, then provided the UN links and to the South Korean Mission to the UN at their request. From the November 9 transcript: 
Inner City Press: I'd asked about the brother of the Secretary-General, and two articles, both of which remain online… they have not been taken down, one of which says that he's involved in magnesium mining in Myanmar, and the other one links him by name to a UN delegation which toured Myanmar.  So you said you can't verify it.  And I wanted to know, is that can't or won't?  Because it seems like if there's an article describing a UN delegation touring for financial reasons a controversial conflict zone, it should be able to be… are you willing to at least look into what the delegation may have been and whether…

Spokesman:  You know, send me the article.  I haven't seen the article.  And, again, please try not to get the… my double chin with your periscope.  It's very annoying.

Inner City Press:  Okay.  Maybe we can lower the podium....
After the briefing Inner City Press sent Dujarric and others this, of which Dujarric in the hallway confirmed receipt:

Hello. I am sending three links regarding Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-ho (through Bosung and KD Power) doing mining in Myanmar and touring with a UN delegation. 

"Memorandum of Understanding with KD Power of South Korea, which is managed by Mr. Ban Ki-Ho, brother of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for the exploration of Magnesium as well as cooperation in power sector in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar.  "

2) " Bosung Power Technology Co., a power supply material manufacturer where Ban’s younger brother Ki-ho is a vice president" 


"Bo Sung Powertec Co., Ltd, BUYANG INDUSTRIAL Co., Ltd, Germany Recycle Engineering Co., Ltd and visiting delegations from the United Nations"

Who was on the UN delegation?

Was any UN Ethics office opinion sought for Ban Ki-ho's role in a UN delegation in a war-torn country in which he does / gets business? 

Why / how is this appropriate?

Also for Ban's brother's business engagement in the UAE with Han Seung-soo, UN official who gives speeches in that capacity in the UAE while being on the board of Doosan, which also does business there.

On CAR / Bambari, here is one of the articles I asked about :

Inner City Press is still requesting a copy of the Secretary General's Oct 14 speech to the Council of Korean American (for which they sought $100,000 sponsorships), his Saudi water speech, and list of carbon off-sets bought that he cited in his SIPA speech.

There is more to ask; never received any response to the below.
  Later, Inner City Press received this from the South Korean mission to the UN:
"Korean mission... I'm writing to ask your help. At the UN noon briefing you mentioned Mr. Ban ki ho had tour with UN delegayions and there is a published article about Mr. Ban's tour with UN delegation. Could you please send the article or provide the link you mentioned?"
  Inner City Press provided the links and more - but again wonders what is the relation between South Korea's Mission to the UN and Ban Ki-moon, now that he wants to run for President of South Korea. 
On November 28 Ban's spokesman said, without any proof, that he understands Ban Ki-ho no longer works for KD Power. But when Inner City Press asked when was the last time Ban Ki-moon spoke with his brother Ki-ho, Spokesman Dujarric said glibly that he has no clue, and hasn't returned with any answer.

Might the game have been to have the South Korean mission make the contact for Ban? We'll have more on this.
Back on November 7, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric not only about Western Sahara - even as it was again threatened for this - but also about Ban's brother, video here