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Protest in Jaffna over UN ban on news agency

1 March 2016 - 287   - 0

A group of protesters staged a demonstration in front of the UN regional office in Jaffna demanding that news agency Inner City Press' (ICP) be allowed access to the UN headquarters in New York. 

The protest was arranged by  Anandhi Saistharan and M.K.Sivajilingham, the councilors of Northern Provincial Council (NPC). They claimed that the news agency  raised questions on critical issues which emerged during the final phases of the war in Sri Lanka and failures of the UN to protect civilians. In February the ICP was debarred from the UN Press Briefing Room following a notice issued by UN Under Secretary General.

The Inner City Press broke stories ranging from peacekeeper rapes in Africa, war crimes in Sri Lanka, Burundi, the Sudans, SEMG and Yemen, to corruption in UN Headquarters, including for example cocaine shipments through its mail room and the current bribery scandals surrounding John Ashe, Ng Lap Seng and Frank Lorenzo.

ICP's official websited claimed  on February 19, founder of the news agency Matthew Russell Lee was given only two hours notice to leave the UN, closing down his shared office space and lugging eight years of investigative files with him. He asked for time, went to cover a UN Security Council meeting on Syria - and was pushed out of the building with his UN Resident Correspondents pass torn off, without even his coat or passport, by eight UN Security guards.

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