Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As Ban Ki-moon Goes After S Korean Press, His UN Spox Won't Answer, Evicted ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee, Series 
UNITED NATIONS, January 5 -- In the final days of Ban Ki-moon's decade as UN Secretary General, covering up genocides in Sri LankaBurundi and Yemen and evicting the Press which asked about (t)his corruption, Inner City Press is reviewing Ban's end, year by year. See also this Twitter Moment.
Now Ban Ki-moon has brought an action against a South Korean publication which asserted improper payments to Ban: that is, bribery. 
In this context it is important to note that under Ban Ki-moon's watch at the UN, there is the UN bribery Ng Lap Seng case, slated for trial later this month. 
And that Ban evicted from the UN, and still restricts, Inner City Press which asked about Ban's and his head of communications Cristina Gallach's links to Ng Lap Seng and his South South Awards and South South News - which unlike Inner City Press was never ousted from the UN, still has a UN office despite being named as a bribery conduit by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
On January 5, Inner City Press asked Ban's longtime spokesman Stephane Dujarric, still at the UN, video here,UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: I'd asked you before the Secretary-General left office about a… a… a media in South Korea saying that they'd received from you what they thought of as a threat, that seemed to say there would be further action taken.  And now it seems that the Secretary-General has, in fact, filed a legal action in South Korea about this Sisa Press and its allegation of bribery.  And I wanted to know, given that the UN often says that… that reporting on corruption is important and given what some see as South Korean laws being not very press friendly, i.e., a person was left… couldn't leave the country because they wrote about President Park [Geun-hye], one, did you use the words "further necessary measures" or "further measures of any kind" to Sisa Press?  And, two, what does it say about the UN system that the first action that Ban Ki-moon took when he left office was to go after a media for reporting on, they say, corruption?

Spokesman:  Listen, as I've said, one Secretary-General at a time.  I think, as I've done numerous times serving various Secretaries-General, when there have been articles that have been based on absolutely zero fact, we have complained, and we have written.  I think there's nothing untowards, towards that.  What has happened since 1 January, I cannot confirm or speak to it, because I have no knowledge of it.  The fact that an institution or a person defends themselves when they feel they're being attacked without any grounds in the media, I think, is a basic right of any individual.

Inner City Press:  While you were still the Sec… the Spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, I asked you in writing, when was the last time that the Secretary… the then-Secretary-General had spoken with the individual named in this charge and the footwear company tied to the previous President?  Did you ask?

Spokesman:  I don't know.  Thank you.
  Inner City Press previously asked Ban's spokesman for Ban's view of action against a Japanese journalist Mr Kato for reporting on now-impeached President Park. Ban never took a position - interested now that Ban tries to use South Korea's anti-press legal system to promote his political campaign.
   What will the defenders of press freedom say about Ban, even at this late date? Watch this site.
  Beyond Ban's nepotism at the UN - promoting his own son in law, having his brother Ki-ho drum up business in Myanmar war zones as part of a “UN delegation” and his nephew use his and the UN's name in real estate deals - it has been reported that Ban while Secretary General accepted $30,000 in cash from a businessman.
  Inner City Press on December 27 asked Ban's top three spokespeople about this:
"Please state the date and separately content of the Secretary General last three communications with Park Yeon-cha or any other official or employee of Taekwang."
   While Ban's spokespeople have refused to answer this and 18 other Inner City Press questions, Stephane Dujarric has abused his ongoing UN role by issuing a legal threat about the Taekwang / Park Yeon-cha story, demanding from the initial publisher an official apology or the UN will have to pursue further necessary measures.
   Who is Stephane Dujarric to threaten to sue? For the UN? For Ban Ki-moon's campaign? 
On the morning of December 29, Inner City Press submitted five questions to Dujarric and his deputy, including 
"As a matter of press freedom, please explain any warning, requests or threats made by the UN to media in connection with their reporting on Ban Ki-moon and alleged corruption, including but limited to allusion to pursuing further necessary measures. On whose behalf were these sent - the UN? Ban Ki-moon personally? Please release all such communications, to understand any use of UN resources to intimidate media coverage."
Five hours later, still no answers, Inner City Press went in and picked up the piece of paper on the counter - and was told not to take it. Despite being paid for no answers, apparently they can't afford a single photocopy. The person listed was Mathias Gillmann, who when Inner City Press asked about the 19 unanswered questions said, “Stephane is working on it, that's all I know.”

  Working how?
By refusing to do his job as spokesperson at the UN and answer questions, on this same scandal as well as on Burundi, Gambia, Mali, South Sudan and Myanmar, where Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-ho does business in war zones? 
On the morning of December 30, 19 hours after the above-quoted question was submitted, Dujarric provided a response (and overall, two and one half responses to 19 questions over three days). We publish it in full, as received:
   First, the published report said that Ban Ki-moon received at least one cash pay-off WHILE Secretary General, which should trigger a UN Office of Internal Oversight inquiry.
  Second, the publication in question told Inner City Press that "Stephane Dujarric sent us an e-mail denying all the story and requesting our official apology. Stephans also said if we don't take the actions promptly, UN will have to pursue further necessary measures."
  So that's a threat. This is why Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access, as a matter of press freedom, are asking the UN to release Dujarric letter(s), in full. Watch this site.
  In 2006 after Ban was given the job since he was NOT “God's gift to humanity,” even then he was criticized for close business links with Myanmar, by Djoko Susiloamong others. 
By 2008, Inner City Press asked Ban, here, "about the responsibility of private corporations doing business in Myanmar, giving the specific example of South Korea's Daewoo and its deal with Myanmar Oil and Gas. I cannot comment on specifics, Ban said, adding that 'whoever has influence' should try to convince Myanmar to improve its record."
As it turned out, Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho would do mining and other business in Myanmar, after being on a “UN delegation.” Ban Ki-moon's nephew Dennis Bahn is said to have used his uncle's name and position while trying to sell real estate in Vietnam. The Bans have yet to answer these questions. Here's the December 26 round-up story by Inner City Press.
And here, taken offline after inquiry but tweeted by Inner City Press, is a photo of Ban Ki-ho in Myanmar, for magnesium, under the banner Korea - Myanmar CEOs Partnership Plaza.
On the morning of December 27, a UN work day, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's three top spokespeople questions including 
"please state the business activities in Myanmar of Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho, not only through KD Power which your Office has stated it understands Ban Ki-ho has left, but also through Bosung Powertec and any other company and again, all details of the “UN delegation” the link regarding which Inner City Press has previously provided your office in early November"
"Please state the date and separately content of the Secretary General last three communications with Park Yeon-cha or any other official or employee of Taekwang."
  More than a full day later, there were no answers, not even a confirmation of receipt. On the morning of December 28 on this Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's full paid Office of the Spokesperson:
"please definitely state that dates on which Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho began and if applicable ended employment with Bosung Powertec and KD Power or any of their affiliates, and during those time frames the companies' business activities in Myanmar."
  Five hours later, the spokespeople sheepishly closed their office and left, no answers. Having received calls from media in South Korea who have falsely been told that Bosung Powertec does no business in Myanmar, that there was no UN delegation, Inner City Press now publishes this:
Evidence (in a UN publication) of Bosung Powertec's involvement in Myanmar:

Annex 5.6. Selected Korean MSMEs (page 241)

Myanmar Bosung Powertec Co, Ltd Electronics and electric equipment and components  

Here is evidence of both Bosung Powertec and Ban Ki-ho's "previous" employer KD Power involved in Myanmar

Power instrument makers rush off to Myanmar, a land of opportunity

Yoo Chang-seon Sep 11, 2013

Small and medium power instrument makers are continually entering the Myanmarese market in order to take the Myanmarese government’s long-term power development plan as a business opportunity.

Bosung Power entered into a contract to supply power transmission tower manufacturing facilities in 2009 and 2011 with MEC, a Myanmarese national steel company, and has already set foot into the market. Following a Myanmarese branch establishment in 2011, the company is promoting the local market entry in full swing. Recently, Bosung Power is preparing a site for its own production plant in an area at a 1.5-hour driving distance from Yangon.KD Power has been promoting to supply photovoltaic power generation system and DC household appliances since May to suburban areas of Myanmar where the power supply conditions are poor. 
On December 26 it was reported in South Korea that even while Ban Ki-moon was UN Secretary General, he received $30,000 from a businessman, in a restaurant. See here, including Park Yeon-cha (as well as Vietnamese minister Nguyen Dy Nien) with this quote:
""It would have been early 2007, shortly after Ban took office as Secretary General of the United Nations. New York has a restaurant owner who knows him well. Park called the owner of the restaurant and said, "If Ban comes to eat, give me $ 30,000 as a gift to celebrate the inauguration of the secretary general." In fact, we know that money was handed to Ban. ""
Did the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services ever look into this? We're still waiting to hear from them. 
 In his first year, 2007, Ban Ki-moon bought in numerous South Korean staffers. Inner City Press asked and was told there was only one, then that there were five, including Kweon Ki-hwan. 
Then Ban's spokespeople including Choi Soung-ha chastised Inner City Press for asking, and demanded that the names of 51 South Korea staffers of the Secretariat be removed from Inner City Press' reporting. 
This was Ban's e arly censorship, which culminated in 2016 with Ban evicting Inner City Press through Cristina Gallach, audio here, and Inner City Press' camera being smashed.
  Inner City Press even before Ban's Day 1 asked about financial transparency. It would end, a decade later, with Ban refusing to say who paid for his travel, even what “carbon offsets” he supposed bought.
   On Ban's first day at work, after walking in with Vijay Nambiar who would go on to cover up genocide in Myanmar after participating in it in Sri Lanka in the White Flag Killings, Ban was asked about the death penalty (for Saddam Hussein) and replied that it is “up to member states.” His first spokesperson Michele Montas tried to repair the damage. 
In late 2016 Inner City Press saw Montas in the UN, from the “focus booth” where it does what work it can after Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach evicted it from its long time UN office.

Meanwhile Kofi Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who played a role in the eviction, is bragging that he will remain. We'll have more on this.