The New York office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was unaware of instructions issued to the families of missing in Sri Lanka not to speak to the media on their meeting with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances held this week.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said, in response to a question posed at a press conference at the UN in New York, that he is not aware if any instructions had been issued by the UN office in Sri Lanka.
When journalists asked Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda regarding a meeting she had two days ago with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances at the UN office in Colombo, Eknaligoda said that she could not comment.
She said that the the UN told her not to speak to the media and that the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances would brief the media next week.
“I told them about by concerns. The meeting went well. They will announce their response next week,” she said.
When asked by journalists who took part in the meeting, Eknaligoda refused to comment nor did she wish to state who in the UN told her not to speak to the media. (Colombo Gazette)
Question posed on Sri Lanka at the press conference at the UN in New York:
Question: Okay. All right. I wanted to ask you a Sri Lanka question, while this grouping is still there. There’s a UN working group on enforced disappearances that’s visiting Sri Lanka, including northern Sri Lanka. But I wanted to… maybe this is not true, but the “Colombo Gazette” relate… says that families whose people have been disappeared, who met with UN working group, including the widow of Prageeth [Eknaligoda], the cartoonist, were told, quote, by the UN not to speak to the media about their discussions with the working group. It says “the UN.” So it’s…
Spokesman: I don’t…
Correspondent: Is there…
Spokesman: You can ask our colleagues in Geneva, who kind of help back up these independent working groups, but it’s not something I can answer from here