By Matthew Russell Lee, Twentieth in a Series
UNITED NATIONS, January 1 -- In the final days of Ban Ki-moon's decade as UN Secretary General, covering up genocides in Sri Lanka, Burundi 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.
In 2009, Ban misspoke about his history in Sri Lanka, the mass killing in which he ignored to attend his son Woo-hyun's wedding, and where his son in law Siddharth Chatterjee had previously played an active, killing role.
While Ban would later evict and still restrict Inner City Press, in 2009 his strategy was to get it removed from Google News - and it happened (though it was later reversed). Here's Inner City Press' report from June 3, 2009.
And now Ban threatens to sue, for ambition.
And one of Ban's vulnerabilities is not only allowing, covering up and through Vijay Nambiar participating in war crimes in Sri Lanka in 2009, but his promoted son in law's role there. Inner City Press asked about this, for example below in 2010 - and was evicted in 2016 and remains restricted. From Inner City Press' September 29, 2010 report:
"UNITED NATIONS, September 29, 2010 -- With UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon embroiled in controversies including about his personal and familial relations with Sri Lanka, Mr. Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky declared on Wednesday that it is “irrelevant” whether Ban's son in law Siddarth Chatterjee served with the Indian military forces in Sri Lanka. Video here.
Back in March, Inner City Press had posed this question in writing to the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary General, without getting any answer. So on September 13, Inner City Press asked it and another related question in the UN's noon briefing:
Inner City Press: ...can you describe the personal relationship of the Secretary-General with Mr. Rajapaksa, including prior to becoming Secretary-General? And, can you confirm that the Secretary-General’s son-in-law served in the Indian peacekeeping force that occupied Tamil areas of Sri Lanka during previous peace negotiations? Just as a factual matter to know what the Secretary-General’s connections to Sri Lanka are?
Spokesperson Nesirky: ... as the final two questions, I will get back to you.
Two weeks later, neither answer had been provided. In the meantime, Ban had met with Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Nesirky's office had issued a summary, including that “[t]he President updated the Secretary-General on the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.”
Ban's summary made no mention of the UN panel on war crimes in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka's Office of the President issues its own summary:
“UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had yesterday told President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York for the sessions of the UN General Assembly that his committee on Sri Lanka ``was in no way empowered to investigate charges against Sri Lanka, but was solely to advice him on matters relating to Sri Lanka,’’ according to a news release from the president’s office.”
When Inner City Press on September 27 asked Nesirky to reconcile these summaries, he said it was normal for the UN to not comment on president's summaries of talks with the Secretary General -- despite having done so with, for example, Sudan.