UN Petries: revealing the scale of inaction

By TAG Advocacy, Thursday, November 15 2012
The UN PETRIE report examining the UN record in Sri Lanka was released yesterday, 14 November 2012.

As the BBC had forewarned the reportedly strongly worded Executive Summary had been removed. So too certain sections of the text had been redacted. The black out sections on pages 66-67 referred to the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide (SAPG), Francis Deng.

Pg 66 reads "The Policy Committee met two days later, on 12 March, to discuss Sri Lanka. Participants noted variously that “this crisis was being somewhat overlooked by the international community”, the policy “of coordinating a series of high level visits seemed to have produced some positive results”, and that the possible involvement of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (SAPG) would not indicate a suspicion of genocide but may add to overcrowding of UN actors involved. Participants acknowledged the apparent need for a Special Envoy but noted this “did not seem politically feasible”.

Silence, not ignorance, is the recurring sense of the report.

But this is nothing new - TAG News Team writing in Sept 2011 after the publication on wikileaks of a Cable recording the meeting between Ambassador Rice and the Un SAPG, Frances Deng, despaired at the gulf between on the one hand public silence, on the other private concerns.

 TAG "...None of these US concerns were however expressed in public, enabling Sri Lanka to continue its murderous onslaught against the Tamil population untrammelled by any international pressure".

In the cable, the SAPG, Deng, desribed the mandate of the SAPG as "impossible", and stated "the Sri Lankan representative left the impression that  his government's measures against the LTTE are supported by the US and India". Nothing in the cable indicates that the US contradicted this impression. 

The full text of the TAG article can be read at -  http://www.tamilsagainstgenocide.org/read.aspx?storyid=57
Read the cable at http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09USUNNEWYORK283.html.