Sri Lanka has paid a heavy price for the lack of cohesion as it was essential to project an image of unity rather than that of discord as the country prepares for important appointments at the UN Human Rights Council, said Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.
She mentioned this in a May 1 datelined letter sent to External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris rejecting an offer to be transferred to another station.
“Your proposal to move me out only nine months after assuming duties as PR in Geneva, will suggest instability in our diplomacy and an ad hoc character, when, in a multilateral Mission, it is essential to display cohesion, unity and stability if we are not to be continuously on the defensive. If I were to accept your proposal, Sri Lanka will be the only country to have had four Ambassadors in three years, which is normally the minimum period of postings for envoys of other countries,” Ambassador Kunanayakam said. “Removing one of the very few Tamils heading diplomatic missions abroad will allow questioning of the bona fides of the Government’s commitment to reconciliation, will reinforce extremist elements on all sides, and validate the argument that mine was only a token appointment.”
She said it would convey the impression that those loyally carrying out instructions of the President and his Minister of External Affairs are being penalised precisely for this loyalty, whereas those responsible for compromising on principles, creating divisions, and undermining unity were rewarded.
Ambassador Kunanayakam expressed surprise at the proposal to transfer her given that it was only on April 23 that the Ministry of External Affairs, in a media statement, affirmed that no decision had been made to change the posts of officials of the Ministry or Missions abroad, or to transfer them.
She said under the present circumstances, it was unlikely that her transfer to Brazil or Cuba would be looked upon kindly by either Brasilia or Havana, which would not appreciate being viewed as punishment stations.
Ambassador Kunanayakam said the objective of the orchestrated campaign targeting those who defended positions of principle, initially Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleke and now encompassing others may be viewed as an effort to put Sri Lanka’s diplomacy on the defensive.
“I believe I have acted consistently with loyalty toward our people and our country, and that I have worked on the basis of principles rather than devious schemes and maneuvers, pettiness, and mediocrity. Mine is not a personal agenda, and my motivations are not career, fame, or fortune related. I have carried out my duties conscientiously, with the best interests of the Sri Lankan people at heart and to the best of my abilities, placing at their service my long experience and knowledge of the UN System, more than 10 years of which was spent within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” she said. (Ayesha Zuhair)
This decision to change Tamara, is not just GL's idea. Its defineatly coming from the top. Tamara did a good job or not certainly we know she tried her best. Changing two top diplomats - Tamara/Dr Dayan - at this juncture is so foolish & shows clearly how incapable this regime is in making significant decisions.
Ling Saturday, 05 May 2012 06:24 AM
sadly to know that such educated fellow still cannot understand foreign diplomacy and what is it meaning, do not mixed up with race issue.I am just wonder if she was posted to third world country n to transfer to first world country, will there be letter of rejection, might be happy for the transfer.
V.I.S.Jayapalan poet Saturday, 05 May 2012 06:24 AM
Tamara, What is the name of this opportunistic game you are playing. You was famous among Tamils as human wrights worker in 1980s. That time you played Tamil card. Then put a u turn played Sri Lankan card and enjoying the status of a diplomat in Geneva. when Sri Lankan government tried to transfer from Geneva u black mailing them by playing Tamil card again. Tamara What is the name of this game?
roger Saturday, 05 May 2012 06:27 AM
You sided with the GOV of SL to white wash there dirt, I am sorry but you deserve it
Rajan Sunday, 06 May 2012 08:02 PM
Absolutley brilliant comment and I hope Tamara will hear it.
Mason Saturday, 05 May 2012 07:16 AM
Aptly said #firstname.lastname@example.org. In days to come many alike will experience this tyranny.
sg Sunday, 06 May 2012 01:50 AM
Look like Sri Lanka government dont want professional dipomats for thier diplomacy. Government already have lot of experionce on this kind of activities. Any way ,first of all, government should be lession leand some thing regarding diplomacy, diplomatic relations and diplomats. Otherwise, Sri Lankan foreign policy will be faced complicated situation .
Fayad Saturday, 05 May 2012 07:22 AM
It shows we do not need Permanent Representative only Temporary Representative
DireStraits Sunday, 06 May 2012 02:16 AM
We the general public are to blame for the mess. Untill we realize that our beloved country will always be in the hands of drama queens like the said Minister and the rest who we call out leaders in Parliament. They will sell their own mothers for money and power. When will we ever learn a simple task of voting ? That is the day when true leaders will step up to contest, get voted in and we can atleast hope for some hope. Until then this drama will continue.
Sajith Saturday, 05 May 2012 07:42 AM
A frog in the well..?
kaputakukula Saturday, 05 May 2012 07:36 AM
Rightly said Mason. These opportunists are "use n throw" substance to the now government.
jacoobc Sunday, 06 May 2012 02:05 AM
The fun game is fast appoaching its peak by the look of it !! So does the judgement day!! Pl standby !!
Rohan Sunday, 06 May 2012 02:42 AM
She facilitated Mahinda to raise the JVP case in Geneva, when he travelled with Vasudeva. She let them sleep ion her apartment, and she fed them with home cooked food. What is the price of loyalty in Mahinda Family?
Godaya Saturday, 05 May 2012 07:33 AM
She is a political stooge not fit to be an Ambassador for any country. Remove her in the best interest of the country.
niyaz Saturday, 05 May 2012 08:05 AM
" The hills are alive with the sound of music " .... You hang in there sunshine!!!!
Javi Saturday, 05 May 2012 08:28 AM
Its usual in political agenda, you can't oppose
Patriot Monday, 07 May 2012 10:45 AM
Why transfer Tamara ? She did a good job but at the crucial stage was not even given a seat in the conference hall. The seats were occupied by stooges. The fault lies with the lack-lustre. It is he who should be transferred and the sooner the better before he takes the country to another crisis.
Mohamed Marzook Saturday, 05 May 2012 08:25 AM
This situation is a reflection of the disorganisation prevalent within the Govt. and as there is no sense of direction which does not augur well for the country.
email@example.com Friday, 04 May 2012 07:22 PM
First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me
above was written by German while Hitler . those who helped tyranny in Srilanka starting to get the taste of it .
sensiv Friday, 04 May 2012 08:00 PM
Career diplomats they can go anywhere and have no choice. The political henchmen they will not go anywhere and will pick their destinations- That's Sri Lankan foreign policy.. Its Geneva Switzerland not let us see who the lucky one is.
xlntgson Monday, 07 May 2012 09:51 PM
The influential few dictate the silent majority in the vain hope of playing to the gallery, diplomacy apart!
Dehand Senanayake Saturday, 05 May 2012 03:57 PM
Baduth hamuduruwange! Naduth hamuduruwange!
RAZA Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:56 AM
IT IS THE TIME FOR TAMARA TO READ LLRC REPORT AND COME OUT OF THE GLASS HOUSE. TAMRA LIVES ON REPORTS IN THE LUXURY OF SWISS BUT WE LIVE IN SRI LANKA SOIL.
dinesh Saturday, 05 May 2012 05:13 AM
Good lesson for government supporters!! But what they have other than lobbying for government?
GAGA Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:04 PM
Sorry Tamara this is the Condom Theory of the Chinthana regime!!!! many had to face this reality supporting the clan !!!
Junta Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:18 PM
This is ridiculous. Pathetic state of affairs in the country. What happened to the days of the Rajapakse. I can't imagine someone like GL peiris making moves like this. Obviosuly people like uneducated people like Sajinand other idiots in the government are making these decisions. truly pathetic
ramba Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:26 PM
excellent commecnt !!
srigana Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:50 PM
hi its time mahindas to leave govt hold eletion go aboroad hahahihi face book srigana thillai michal jak
Jega Saturday, 05 May 2012 05:15 PM
Cries of a typical (Tamil) bureaucrat who sold her soul to further her career prospects. Don't worry Tamara, this time HE will sort it out in your favour. But do not expect the same response for ever.
HKL Sunday, 06 May 2012 05:33 PM
Donot scream.Fight to establish independent commisions in Sri Lanka. Then people like you can do the job .
Kondebandapucheena Saturday, 05 May 2012 05:32 AM
Gamini Laxman Peries over to you
Dr I.M.C.Fernando,UK Saturday, 05 May 2012 05:53 PM
Ms Kunanayakam carried out her duties as SL's Permanent Rep at UN quite well and impressively as per instructions from the President and Minister for External Affairs. On the final session,however,she was completely sidelined by a politician, Minister Samarasinghe who presented a poor case for SL. Even the Minister for External Affairs, Prof. Peiris was sidelined by the said politician. Why are politicians allowed to make a MESS of things for President MR ???? Now it appears punitive action is to be taken against Ms Kunanayakam by transferring her. What a messy diplomatic set up indeed !!!!!
spark Saturday, 05 May 2012 05:26 AM
If you were committed to principles as you state, you would not have defended SL knowing very well as a Tamil that genocide was committed specifically to the minority that you belong. Your letter is typical pleading to stay in your present position (for personal benefits it holds) giving the most ludicrous reasons other than logical. The present regime simply does not require you to wash any more of their laundry though you washed it well earlier.
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