United Nations (UN) Spokesperson Martin Nesirky has refused to comment on Sri Lankan government’s decision to appoint Major General Shavendra Silva as the new Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York.
Nesirky when questioned about the appointment at a press conference at the UN has refused to comment.
The media during the conference had also highlighted that fact that Major General Silva “was a commander that was in charge of the battalion that shot surrendering troops that came out with a white flag.”
A journalist has also posed the question from the spokesman if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon can refuse to accept the appointment but Nesirky has said he needed to check on the general procedure.
Following is the transcript of the question and answer on Sri Lanka at the UN press briefing:
“Q: Okay, thanks, thanks. And also, there…in…in…this is sort relates to that Sri Lanka panel, which I’m obviously I’m going to ask when has the clock started or did the Secretary-General speak with the Chairman, Mr. Darusman. There are reports in the Sri Lankan press that both the Permanent Representative and the Deputy Permanent Representative slots of Sri Lanka are being changed. The DPR spot is empty and one, the person being sent, according to the Sri Lankan press, was a commander that was in charge of the battalion that shot surrendering troops that came out with a white flag as somehow negotiated or spoken to by Mr. Nambiar.
“What I want to know is, if these reports in Sri Lanka are true, and if such individuals that were actively involved in the final stage of the conflict in Sri Lanka, which is now being investigated by Sri Lanka and advised in, does the Secretary-General have to accept a…a…when he says he accepts credentials, is this an automatic rubber stamp? Can a country send, could Sudan send Ahmed Haroun and that would be accepted? What’s the Secretary-General’s discretion in holding those photo-ops and credentials? Does he have the freedom like a country does to reject someone who is submitted?
“Spokesperson: On the general point about the procedure, I would need to find out. I do not know. But on the specific, I’m not going to enter into hypotheticals. On the earlier part of, I think it was a question, on the panel, the timing, to my knowledge; the clock has not yet started. I think it’s being wound up. It should start soon.”