inner city press

UN Stonewalls As Sri Lanka Alleged War Criminal Silva Skips Advisory Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, UNITED NATIONS, June 28 2012 -- Since UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepted an alleged war criminal onto his Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, his Secretariat has tried to make it difficult or impossible to cover the process. Inner City Press went to the SAG meeting at 380 Madison Avenue to see if Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva, who is depicted in Ban's own report on Sri Lanka as engaged in war crimes, attended. He did, but called UN Security who ordered Inner City Press to leave the area by the elevators in a UN rented building. Then the meetings moved to another UN rented building, where Inner City Press was not allowed upstairs.

Voice of America Complaint to Get ICP Out of UN Violates 1st Amendment

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, UNITED NATIONS, June 21 2012 -- After five Big Media members of the UN Correspondents Association on May 25 started a "Board of Examination" to investigate Inner City Press with an eye toward expelling it from UNCA, they claimed there was no intention to try to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN itself. But on June 20, the executive editor of Voice of America, one of the Big Five along with Reuters, Bloomberg News, Al-Arabiya and Agence France Presse, wrote to the UN's Stephane Dujarric, supervisor of the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, asking him to "review Mr. Lee's status as an accredited U.N. correspondent."

Request for UN to Dis-Accredit Inner City Press Filed by UNCA Officer VOA, Big Media & Lanka Roots

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City press, UNITED NATIONS, June 21 2012 -- The UN has received, but not disclosed to Inner City Press, a formal request from one of the Big Media officers of the UN Correspondents Association to have its Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit "review Mr. Lee's status as an accredited U.N. correspondent." This confirms the Press exclusion goals of the "Board of Examination" process initiated by Reuters' Louis Charbonneau, Agence France Presse' Timothy Witcher, Bloomberg's Flavia Krause-Jackson of Bloomberg, Al-Arabia's Talal Al-Haj and Margaret Besheer of Voice of America, which formally filed the complaint.

Good Journalism at the U.N.?

By Brett D. Schaefer, National Review, 18 June 2012 - With all the corruption at the United Nations, you might think that the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) would have better things to do than pick a fight with a single reporter. But you would be wrong. Matthew Lee is the only reporter for Inner City Press, a Bronx-based nonprofit group known mainly for investigations of financial institutions and advocacy for the poor. Lee has broken a number of stories about the U.N., but now he himself is the story. In fact, he could become the first journalist ever expelled from UNCA.

UN journalists threaten to expel reporter

By Roy Greenslade, The Guardian, 20 June 2012 - An extraordinary row has broken out among journalists who cover the United Nations at its New York headquarters. A reporter who works for a small investigative news site, Inner City Press, is in danger of being ejected from the UN correspondents association (UNCA) at the behest of journalistic colleagues. According to an article in the National Review, Matthew Lee is being investigated for alleged unethical and unprofessional behaviour by a so-called "board of examination" set up by UNCA.

Panel reviewing the UN’s own performance in the final stage of the Sri Lanka conflict is headed by Charles Petrie

12 June 2012 - The Panel reviewing the UN’s own performance in the final stage of the Sri Lanka conflict is now headed by Charles Petrie. Although Ms. Thoraya Obaid was named to head the panel, she did not take the post. "This is something that is quite complex and quite important. And the review is under way, as I say. It is being headed by Charles Petrie, and it is in full swing, and when we have something to say further, I will let you know; but we don’t at the moment", said UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky in his press briefing on Monday.

On Sri Lanka Threats, UN Tells Press "Call NYPD," But SLC Sees Silva

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, UNITED NATIONS, June 12 2012 -- Amid the UN's ambiguous relationship with the Sri Lankan government accused of killing 40,000 civilians in 2009, with the involvement of both its UN Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona and his Deputy, general Shavendra Silva, Inner City Press on June 11 asked the UN about a threat that I’ve received from it seems to be a Sinhalese or Sri Lankan extremist, saying I should "swim like a brick," and the reason I am asking you about it is because it was cc'd to Marie Okabe and two other UN personnel. And I am wondering, what is the UN’s response when you receive this type of a threat? What do they do with it, what happens, and I want to know what they are actually going to do in this case?

The long arm of the Sri Lankan Government

Sri Lanka Campaign, 12 June 2012 - Sri Lanka Campaign, 12 June 2012 - The Government of Sri Lanka are masters at the art of intimidating their critics into silence. However, like most bullies, they tend to pick on those who find it difficult to fight back – either because they are currently living in Sri Lanka or because they have Sri Lankan family members who might suffer the ill effects of any attempt to be more vocal. But the reach of the Government seems to be growing, as was demonstrated by the recent and ongoing intimidation of Matthew Lee. ... The UN should not be taking the side of the bullies, nor should they be adding to the confusion and speculation by failing to renew Lee’s accreditation. As for the UNCA; their role is to stand up for its members, not to expel them and we can see no justification for the continuation of this “Board of Examination”. Both the UNCA and the UN have played straight into the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka’s attempts to silence its critics.

Ban Ki-moon Advisers Defend Sri Lanka Crimes By Linking Press with LTTE, France Smells Blood?

By Matthew Russell Lee, inner City Press, UNITED NATIONS, June 9 2012 -- Amid threatening anonymous telephone calls triggered by a proceeding at the UN against Inner City Press, on June 7 a Sri Lankan journalist asked Inner City Press, "there is wide spread allegation that you have been funded by pro Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE lobby groups during the last few years. How do you react to that allegation?"

Amid Lanka Threats, UNCA President Who Took Kohona's Rent Suspends ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City press, UNITED NATIONS, June 8 2012 -- Amid gleeful coverage in Sri Lankan state media and apparent happiness at the highest levels of the UN, the UN Correspondents Association Excutive 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.

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