“Amid gleeful coverage in Sri Lankan State media and apparent happiness at the highest levels of the UN, the UN Correspondents Association Executive Committee on Friday voted to reject a proposed two-sided clarification drafted by Inner City Press, and voted, including with the votes of members not even present to hear the proposal, to suspend Inner City Press.
“Now they say begins a ten-day “Board of Examination” process to “investigate” Inner City Press, based on a file held by UNCA President Giampaolo Pioli but never shown to Inner City Press. Pioli has proposed as chairman of the Board of Examination a staff member work for a state media member of the Executive Committee who’s already voted against Inner City Press without being present.
“The issue centers around Pioli having by his own belated admission accepted rent money from Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative to the UN of Sri Lanka.
“The Sri Lankan Mission to the UN, run by Pioli’s former tenant Kohona and his deputy Shavendra Silva, continues to act as though it has a special relationship with Pioli, sending complaint letters about Inner City Press to Pioli’s UNCA unlike any other member state at the UN.
“Therefore, it would seem clear that Pioli had a duty to recuse himself from decisions about Sri Lanka’s media access.
“But Pioli did not recuse himself, and without notifying other Executive Committee members like Inner City Press, granted Kohona’s request to screen a Government denial of war crimes called “Lies Agreed To.”
“It purports to be a rebuttal of UK Channel 4 documentary called “Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” which itself was NOT shown in the UN due to a celebration for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“Once Inner City Press reported on this, Piolo as president of UNCA demand that it be taken off the Internet. He shouted at Inner City Press, I’ll have you thrown out of the UN. And now he is trying to do it.”