Ban Ki-moon elected unopposed for a second five-year term as UNSG

It is amazing to refer to Mr. Ban as a man of quiet diplomacy. He does not talk much which is often to his advantage. Unlike his predecessors like Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Khali, it is believed that his agenda is always under the table and not on it. He is easily approachable and looks friendly.
by Satheesan Kumaaran

(July 05, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon formally announced his candidacy for a second five-year term on June 6, 2011. While announcing his decision, he stated he wanted to keep leading the world body as a bridge-builder at a time of unprecedented global change. During his term as the UNSG, he maintained a stance of quiet diplomacy which received applause for him, but he lacked the courage to take action against states like Sri Lanka to bring them to justice for launching a genocidal war against their adversaries the Tamils. It is certain now that he is elected for second term unopposed and he would take up his second term on January 1, 2012.

The UN Security Council members support him overwhelmingly as he maintained good relationships with the states, even though he lacked the courage and the fortitude to take meaningful steps against the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity and related abuses.

While he was speaking to the media in New York on 6 June, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon said that it was an enormous privilege to lead such a great world organisation. He said: “If supported by the member states, I would be deeply honoured to serve once more, throughout my time in office, I have sought to be a bridge-builder.” He, however, owes his office to George W Bush who wanted a puppet to support his war against Iraq.

Mr. Ban, who took over the job as Secretary General from his predecessor Mr. Kofi Annan in 2007, was criticised for being too timid to confront the world's worst human rights abusers. But Mr. Ban insisted at the media briefing that he had spoken out strongly for human rights - and he has won praise recently for supporting Arab pro-democracy demonstrators. He told journalists of his accomplishments including his overseeing of swift responses to a series of humanitarian crises, and the pushing to make climate change a top concern for world governments.

Ban has so far failed in Sri Lanka

Although he has claimed that he had done a good job in dealing with the series of humanitarian crises, he, has however, failed to safeguard the rightful and legitimate concerns of civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka who were encountering ethnic cleansing and untold atrocities by the Sri Lankan terrorist State. When thousands of Tamils were dying in the hands of the Sri Lankan state through aerial and artillery shelling for more than six months without a break, Ban Ki-moon failed to stop the hostilities between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces. He issued statements and sent his aide to Colombo for talks.

Because the UN failed to stop the hostilities, more than 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed from January 2009 to May 2009. Over 280,000 civilians had been put in internment camps established by the government in Vavuniya without allowing the international media or UN agencies or any other non-governmental agencies to help despite outcries that the government armed forces were torturing civilians. However, Ban Ki-moon, after heavy criticism from the EU and the U.S., went to see the ground situation in Sri Lanka. He was given a helicopter ride by the Sri Lankan government and he managed to see the areas devastated by the war after it had been scavenged of evidence of heavy artillery bombing in advance, assisted by Mr. Ban’s stooge, the unscrupulous Indian Vijay Nambiar, whose brother, Satish Nambiar, was in the pay of the Sri Lankan government. He was also taken to the internment camps in Vavuniya. Actually, the government showcased their better camps.

Ban Ki-moon was never allowed to speak to the refugees alone. He was always accompanied by senior army commanders to ensure the refugees spoke favourably of the camps. Since then, he has made statements and belatedly appointed the three-member expert panel. The panel also gave the report to Mr. Ban a month ago, but Mr. Ban insists that he is waiting for the response from the Sri Lankan State over the allegations by the panel of experts.

The UN has recently requested an explanation from Sri Lanka for war crimes regarding the shooting of the surrendering political wing leaders in May 2009. However, they have failed to question its own chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, who evidently negotiated the surrendering process and who adamantly insisted that there was no need for the presence of the UN at the scene of surrender.

Political analysts are of the view that from the successive Sri Lankan governments, it is more likely that the UN will not get an explanation from the Sri Lankan government on the war crimes. However, it is interesting that UN would not question its own staff, who may have the same insight as the Sri Lankan government officials. It is an established fact that the brother of Vijay Nambiar, Satish Nambiar, is a consultant to the Sri Lankan government. The conflict of interest of Vijay Nambiar has been brought out by the Inner City Press during UN Press meetings.

When the press asks Mr. Ban about the war crimes reports against Sri Lanka, he continues to say that he could not do anything unless UN member-states come forth and put the resolution on the table or Sri Lankan government itself consents to the crimes. What a joke. How could he expect the criminal element to agree publicly that they committed the crime? A criminal element would not absolutely acknowledge their crime. The Sri Lankan State has had both mens rea and actus rea guilt and, hence, the Sri Lankan State should be brought to justice to face the crimes they committed and the leaders, including the President and his Brothers as well as military commanders, should be brought to justice.

It is absolutely true that Mr. Ban failed in Sri Lanka during his reign as Secretary General of the UN. There is little doubt that he was corrupt. It is a mandate that the powerful leaders like Ban Ki-moon should have undergone a conflict-check procedure because he had various sinister motives in the past when he served as foreign minister of South Korea. But, in any event, Mr. Ban made it and he will become second-time UNSG. This is indeed a disgrace to the United Nations.

A man of quiet diplomacy

It is amazing to refer to Mr. Ban as a man of quiet diplomacy. He does not talk much which is often to his advantage. Unlike his predecessors like Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Khali, it is believed that his agenda is always under the table and not on it. He is easily approachable and looks friendly.

When tens of thousands of people died in the hands of the oppressive regimes, Mr. Ban maintained calm. After more than 40,000 Tamils perished a week later the war ended, Mr. Ban made a helicopter ride to the war zone areas. The question is why did he make this trip? Was it to exonerate the Sri Lankan State?

Like the Sri Lankan government constantly denying, Ban keeps constantly repeating his mantra. When the LTTE was in a powerful position militarily, the Sri Lankan State said that the Tamils had grievances and the LTTE was not collaborating with the Sri Lankan government to find a long lasting solution. Now, the LTTE is gone and there is no political proposal put forward to address the Tamils’ grievances. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa has now said that the Tamils have no grievances and all the grievances have gone after the defeat of the LTTE. However, the Tamils are being oppressed by the draconian Prevention of Terrorism laws and constantly subjected to state terrorism within a culture of impunity being taken for granted. Tamils are living heavily surrounded by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the government has not relaxed any security measures.

Women are raped, killed and dumped into wells, seniors are hanged to death, and children are exploited by drugs and alcohol by the Sri Lankan armed forces and taken or sold as slaves. Yet, the world has no word to say about all these violations in the guise that the war has still not ended and they blindly accept what the Sri Lankan government officials keep on saying about the situation in the island. The global society needs to think that any single, powerful country can use nuclear weapons against one another, and even if the UN sends emissaries and the UN Secretary General visits, their support still goes to the violators in the end. Ban Ki-moon has made sure that there will be no justice to the oppressed even from the highest citadel of humanitarian justice.

Every single individual respecting human rights and wanting to maintain peace and security will say that it is time for Ban Ki-moon to realize that Rajapaksa gave false promises and misled him when he promised a serious national investigation and to do what Ban Ki-moon has done elsewhere [as in Africa] and establish an independent commission to investigate possible war crimes. Mr. Ban, to date, has been impotent in addressing the genocidal issues with the recent Tamil Humanitarian crisis. Ban Ki-moon has been playing a very dangerous game with Sri Lanka by not addressing the question of Tamil Genocide, War Crimes, and real causes of the conflict -- racial hatred. If one is led to believe that Ban was bribed just before the massacre of the 40, 000 innocent civilians, given the circumstances, they cannot be blamed.

The western democratic countries are powerless to bring the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity, and the wellbeing of all people because the rest of the countries in the UN join hand-in-hand with the “Axis of Evil” to defeat the democratic system of the modern world. The UN and the international community have been avoiding the labelling the Tamil conflict as genocide and are reluctant recognize their struggles of the last 60 years or more.

Mr. Ban has got another chance for a second-term as UNSG. Despite knowing his associations with the Sri Lankan State in the past, Mr. Ban should act as the leader of the UN and of the world instead of being petty with the apparent lack of integrity. He should at least now distance himself from Vijay Nambiar to be safe from accusations of complicity. By setting aside the clandestine relationship with the genocidal and racist States, the UN should take actions against the oppressive States which are widely acknowledged as perpetrators of crimes of war against humanity. Best of luck with all your endeavours at least in your second term as Secretary General of the powerful international body, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

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