It comes to the notice that Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press’s dishonorable and unethical behaviour, has lead to an investigation to expel him from the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).
In the meantime his UN Journalist Accreditation also has been denied until United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) completes the investigation.
It was reported that after three times last week telling Inner City Press its request for re-accreditation to cover the UN would be granted and on Monday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit on June 4 reversed course and declined to process the renewal request
Some of the charges leveled against him include falsified reporting, questionable conduct and harassment of fellow journalists. Falsification include disingenuous and biased and usage of adjectives such as “alleged war criminal” when referring to General Shavendra De Silva, who is an Ambassador, attached to Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in New York.
But, most are unaware of his surreptitious dealings with the LTTE and other influential parties with vested interests.
It has been alleged that Matthew Lee had close relations with Tamrat Samuel and Nicholas Haysom of the Secretary General’s office, to the extent where the questions Lee asked were actually prepared by these individuals to elicit desired responses. It is no coincidence that the High Level panel was approved, its report published and subsequently sent to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva (without even informing Sri Lanka) following the intensive questioning by Matthew Lee. Haysom had even told Matthew Lee that Sri Lanka’s LLRC was a sham.
Allegations that Matthew has been given a house in Toronto by the LTTE have surfaced over the past several years. His frequent visits to Canada to collect his payment (in cash) for defaming Sri Lanka and its officials is suspicious, all the time avoiding paying maintenance for two groups of children in Queens and the Bronx.
Should such an individual be allowed to continue his façade as a “journalist”? Or even enter the hallowed chambers of the United Nations? It all depends on the members of the UNCA investigations board. Till they come to their conclusion, all we can do is echo the sentiments of others concerned about ethical reporting ; “it’s time to consider whether he truly belongs to an organization of journalists committed to professionalism, ethics and covering the United Nations.”
Will he spill the beans on his UN “sources” to save his skin?