Thursday, September 20, 2018

On Bangladesh Banned Inner City Press Asks If Fakhrul or BNP Hired Lobbyist To Meet Guterres Like Cameroon

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A
UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 18 – On Bangladesh, did Mirza Fakhrul Islam and the BNP hiring lobbyists in order to meet with the UN of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as Cameroon did back in July? Inner City Press has asked. First, amid reports that Guterres, so often silent on conflicts in countries which can do him favors like Cameroon on the UN Budget Committee, had invited oppositionists to New York to meet him, Inner City Press on September 14 asked in writing: "has Mirza Fakhrul Islam been invited to NY to meet SG Guterres and if so, for what purpose, and when? This is a request to cover any such meeting." Guterres amid Inner City Press' questions about his inaction on Cameroon and his spending of public funds had Inner City Press roughed up on July 3 and banned from the UN since. While leaving 38 other questions unanswered, Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq on Bangladesh answered, "On your question on Bangladesh, we can say the following: Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca met with BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today in New York at the request of BNP. DPA is routinely contacted to meet with various political actors in many countries, and this request was no exception. In view of upcoming elections in Bangladesh, we appeal to all sides to ensure a conducive environment for transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections." We said we'd have more on this, and on September 18 before another noon briefing Inner City Press remained banned from by Guterres, Inner City Press asked Guterres' lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, in writing, "September 18-5: On Bangladesh, and lobbying at the UN, what is the SG's rsponse to “Mirza Fakhrul started for London on Friday and met Tarique there before flying back home. The BNP reportedly had hired a US lobbyist firm for arranging the meetings, though the party claims Mirza Fakhrul travelled there at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.” Did the SG know if Fakhrul or BNP hired a lobbyist to set up the meeting? Did the SG know about the Squires Patton Boggs contract by Cameroon before his July 11 meeting?" So far, as usual with Dujarric despite the claims of Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, no answer. The UN under Guterres is turning into an opaque sinkhole of lobbying and censorship. Watch this site.  On the Rohingya, after a long delay Guterres in April named as the UN envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener. As she issued a glowing read out of her first visit to the country, it was next door Bangladeshand not the UN which announcethat Guterres and the World Bank's Jim Kim would visit there on July 1. On July 3 Guterres had Inner City Press ousted from the UN, and on July 5 entirely banned pending a review of the "incident" - his own Security officers' abuse of the Press.Fox News story here, GAP blogs and II. On August 17, Guterres though his Global Communicator Alison Smale issued a lifetime ban on Inner City Press, putting the UN into the US Press Freedom Tracker. Now on August 28, with Inner City Press still having to cover this beat from the street in 91 degree heat, Guterres gave a speech to the UN Security Council. Outside, Inner City Press asked the Permanent Representative of Kuwait Mansour Al-Otaibi if he thought things have gotten better since the Council's trip. No, he said with candor. Inner City Press asked the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen if his government isstill going ahead with plans for an island for Rohinga. Yes, he said, but not this monsoon"We have more lead time. Video here. Guterres was joined in speechifying to the Security Council on Myanmar by Tegegnework Gettu. Who is he? Well, since due to Guterres' outrageous censorship order we have time:
Inner City Press in 2014 reported on then-head of the UN Department of General Assembly and Conference Management  Tegegnework Gettu calling female critics "emotional," here, whistleblowers afraid of retaliation tell Inner City Press that Gettu has continued his "shenanigans" at UNDP. 

Inner City Press then exclusively published internal UNDP (“Atlas”) travel vouchers leaked to it by scared whistleblowers, reflecting among other things Gettu coincidentally putting in for $11,000 travel expenses. Seedocuments here, on Scribd. We'll have more on this.

 Previously, multiple sources informed Inner City Press that Gettu told complaining staff "I am warning you," cutting them off while saying We are all equal, including me." Really? Leaked audio exclusively put online by Inner City Press here.
 Inner City Press asked, What will Secretary General Antonio Guterres do? Now we know: sell out the Anglophones of Cameroon, have the Press which reports on it roughed up and banned for life, and flying to China.
Guterres' blithe spokesman Stephane Dujarric on August 23 said the basis of the ban is "behavioral." Really? Criticizing him, his boss and the UN? On August 23 MSF issued this: "Over the past year, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have provided more than 656,000 consultations to Rohingya refugees through 19 health facilities and mobile clinics across Cox’s Bazar district.

At first, more than half of MSF’s patients were treated for violence-related injuries, but other health concerns soon emerged, linked to the overcrowded and unhygienic conditions in the camps. Dire living conditions have been made even worse by the relentless rains. Teams have treated more than 61,256 cases of acute watery diarrhea, which remains one of the biggest health issues in the camps.

“In an area where cyclones and monsoons are common, there are almost no stable structures for Rohingya refugees, which has a tangible impact on their security and dignity,” says Pavlo Kolovos, MSF head of mission in Bangladesh. "The infrastructure to meet even the most basic needs of the population is still not in place, and that seriously affects people’s well-being.”

Under the pretext that the Rohingya will soon be returning to Myanmar, the humanitarian response has been hampered by restrictions placed on the provision of long-term or substantial aid. The conditions endured by the Rohingya in the makeshift camps fall far short of accepted international humanitarian standards, with the refugees still living in the same temporary plastic and bamboo shelters that were built when they first arrived.

People living in the camps feel vulnerable and exposed. “When it rains we sit together, all our family members, [holding the house down] so the house won’t blow away,” a Rohingya refugee told MSF. “At night it is very dark here, we have no lights.”

While Bangladesh showed extraordinary generosity by opening its doors to the refugees, the future for the Rohingya community here remains uncertain. Countries in the region deny them any formal legal status, despite the fact that they are refugees and have been made stateless by Myanmar. They have limited access to justice to defend their rights. “By refusing to acknowledge the legal rights of Rohingya as refugees, or granting them any other legal status, intervening governments and organizations keep them in a state of acute vulnerability,” says Kolovos.

In addition, the Rohingya remain forcibly confined to the camps, where they generally have poor access to clean water, latrines, health care, education, and job opportunities. Considering the level of violence that the Rohingya faced in Myanmar and the trauma this has caused, services to treat people for mental health issues and sexual and gender-based violence remain inadequate." And what is the UN doing, other than censoring and banning the Press? Traveling to China, of course, as Guterres is slated to do Sept 1-4. Watch this site. 
On July 23, while Guterres was on his last vacation and his Communicator Alison Smale iwas incommunicado, Sweden as president of the Security Council managed a press encounter with Guterres envoy
Christine Schraner Burgener from which Inner City Press was banned. Here now the real deal: "Her job as she told inside UN sources is to keep good relations with the regime. Gueterres picked her because she will not rock the boat.  Her husband Christoph is a former Swiss ambassador to Yangon. He attempted to sell tourism [and] use [of] Swiss airplanes to Myanmar generals before the sham election of 2010.  After 2012 programs in Rakhine the Swiss government sponsored the visit of a Rakhine demagogue who called for Muslim cleansing of Rakhine.  His name is Vet surgeon Dr Aye Maung.  He met with Myanmar generals, four weeks before the Aug 25 military terror. Gueterres himself backs these cowardly unprincipled diplomats. All UN agencies and heads in Myanmar (UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, UNFPA and resident coordinators  kowtow  to Suu kyi and are complicit in genocide.  Guterres was informed about the complicity and he refused to open any internal investigation." Inner City Press had previously reported this, from other sources, before it was assaulted by Guterres' Security, ousted and now banned.