By Matthew Russell Lee, Sixteenth in a Series
UNITED NATIONS, December 31 -- 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.But it's Ban who has been sued, for his UN killing 10,000 people in Haiti with cholera, and who could or should be arrested now that his immunity expires, as he drops the ball (again) in Times Square.
On December 31, 2016 while the UN Security Council met about Syria - Ban didn't deign to travel the fifteen blocks south from his free housing to attend - UN official Ross Mountain gave a tour. But what has been done for the Haitians who lost loved ones and breadwinners to the UN's cholera? Nothing.
Ban's attitude to Haitians became right after the 2010 earthquake. From Inner City Press' January 14 & 15, 2010 reports:
"UNITED NATIONS, January 14 -- A day after the UN's death count of its personnel in Port au Prince at first included a single Haitian staff member, and then dropped the reference, on Thursday morning Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dropped all reference to nationalities in his count of the dead.
Inner City Press asked if the UN's national Haitian staff have been included in the figures the UN has been giving out, not only of casualties but even of how many people work for the UN.
While Ban insisted that national staff are treated "equally," the figure thrown around - that 11,000 people work for the UN's MINUSTAH mission -- does not include the UN's national staff.
In response to the question, Ban referred to notes and said that the UN has 1200 national staff in Haiti. This compares to 490 international civilian staff.
After Ban left the stakeout, Inner City Press asked his spokesman Martin Nesirky to explain the UN's reporting of casualties. Nesirky said that the focus has been on reporting to those with international interest.
UN's Ban at stakeout, national Haitian staff not in figures
He also said that national staff who worked in the UN headquarters in Port of Prince were somehow more likely to have already have left the building for the day when the earthquake struck. Video here."
"UNITED NATIONS, January 15, updated Jan 16 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will fly to Haiti for a one-day trip on Sunday. To publicize his trip, Ban will be accompanied by journalists from France's wire service and television station, and in a surprise to some, South Korean media.
Several journalists who had put their names on the list to go demanded to know why they were not included, while not only South Korea media but also the UN's own in house self documentarians were selected.
One reporter, representing a major South Florida daily, says he was told by Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, this is not like selecting a soccer team, I don't have to say how I made choices, remember, I'm not new at this job, I was with Reuters for years.
When pressed, Nesirky told the reporter the criteria included multi-media platforms, "coverage of the UN," circulation, history of covering the region and inclusion in the directory of the UN Correspondents' Association. "
UNreal - this group would later move to get Inner City Press evicted, then smash its camera. This is / was Ban's UN. Watch this site - and the Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA.info.
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.
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.
Now the South Korean media have picked up on Ban Ki-moon's nepotism as well, reporting that just after Ban Ki-moon "visited Korea at the invitation of the United Nations Global Compact Korea Association... his son Ban Woo-hyun was recruited by SK Telecom's New York office."
Inner City Press has been asking and reporting since 2009 about SK's Chey Tae-won being in the UN Global Compact, for example here.
It was in 2009 that mass killing by the Sri Lankan army against Tamils in the North was occurring. Inner City Press exposed how Ban's Secretariat was hiding the death figures; then amid pressure for him to visit Sri Lanka, Ban declined in order to attend the wedding of his son Ban Woo-hyun. See, Inner City Press of May 11, 2009.
On the morning of December 28, 2016, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's top three spokespeople questions including
"Please state the date and separately content of the Secretary General's last three communications with Chey Tae-won or any other official or employee of SK Telecom, SK or any of their affiliates. Please confirm or deny that the Secretary General's son Ban Woo-hyun was hired at SK Telecom."
Five hours later, the fully paid spokespeople closed their office without answering a single question, and while trying to keep "closed press" Ban's meeting with New York and US officials.
This is entirely consistent with what Inner City Press has witnessed and reported on, leading to and after Ban Ki-moon's ouster and eviction of Inner City Press and restrictions since: nepotism. Like getting his son in law Siddharth Chatterjee hired in Copenhagen then giving him the top UN job in Kenya.
Add to it - not (yet) noticed by the South Korean media, that SK Telecom's Chey Tae-won, who invited Ban, was previously convicted of fraud, NY Times here.
Ban Ki-moon's son Ban Woo-hyun has worked for "a Middle East branch of a New York-based financial company." We'll have more on this.
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. As to Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople, they have refused to answer Inner City Press' written questions back to November 25 about Ban Ki-ho, etc.
Ban Ki-moon has largely been immune from accountability for ten years, due to a mixture of sycophantry and, when seen as necessary in 2016, censorship, eviction and restriction of the investigative Press. But in 2017...
It is reported that Ban Ki-moon will push the button to drop the Times Square ball on New Years Eve, seemingly arranged by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's relentlessly pro UN Office of International Affairs (which never answeredInner City Press about any de Blasio position on Ban Ki-moon having shirked accountability for his UN bringing deadly cholera to Haiti.)
But the moment that ball drops, Ban Ki-moon's legal immunity is over. We'll have more on this.
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.
Ban's early 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.