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UN envoy to Sri Lanka refuses to answer questions

April 25, 2009

Inner City Press : When Sri Lanka Ordered Doctors Out of Conflict Zone, UN Said Nothing

A week after he was sent for the UN to Sri Lanka and two days after he returned, Vijay Nambiar has yet to speak to the Press about his mission.

Thursday Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe why Nambiar skirted the media stakeout Wednesday outside the Security Council meeting on Sri Lanka, if he stopped in India on his way back to New York and if so who he met with, and if he could be made available at such a stakeout or press conference.

“I don’t think so,” Ms. Okabe said to the last request, attempt to permit no other questions.

Instead, the UN’s Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Bragg took questions, with nothing allowed to be asked beyond the artificially limited humanitarian issue. Inner City Press asked Ms. Bragg about reported intimidation of doctors in northern Sri Lanka by the government, including their removal earlier this year from government payrolls if they stayed to treat patients in the conflict zone.

Read more here.

******  Take note ******

Buhne, who has been described to Inner City Press even by senior Ban Ki-moon advisers as having gotten far too close to the Sri Lankan government, has been approved by the government to head a “technical” mission to the conflict zone. Inner City Press asked Ms. Bragg if anyone other than Mr. Buhne had been considered. Ms. Bragg insisted that the UN had chosen Mr. Buhne. But there are senior UN officials who are embarrassed by him.


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