Posted on September 1st, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Responding to the Norwegian diplomatic attack on the United NationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Secretary General that he lacked leadership and charisma Ban Ki Moon has said since they come from different backgrounds their styles of charisma or leadership could be different.

He said addressing a press conference in Oslo, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- We all have a different background, leadership styles. We must respect each others’,” adding “I have my own leadership style, my own charisma.”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As many predicted that the Secretary General would avoid going to Norway in the midst of the criticism did not happen. Ban did meet NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to discuss climatic change due to the environment and took part in the press conference later in Oslo.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Norway has pointed out the severe criticism was contained in a letter as a diplomatic memo meant only for internal distribution and not a statement of the government.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s senior diplomat at the United NationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Mona Juul in the memo attacked ban for his attitude regarding Burma and Sri Lanka, on the eve of the final defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Norway, who acted as a peace broker in Sri Lanka had been accused of being partial to the LTTE.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Juul, the Norwegian diplomat said Ban was only a passive observer in the Myanmar situation and Sri Lankan situation.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ At the press conference the secretary-general discribed his diplomatic efforts last year, when he persuaded Myanmar Senior General Than Shwe to lift humanitarian aid restrictions after Cyclone Nargis. Ban also declared he was dedicated to work for democratization of Myanmar. But he was silent about the criticism on Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ All the charges and counter charges due to a top secret report written to NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Ministry by the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s senior diplomat and leaked to the newspaper Aften Posten. It has severely attacked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for what is generally believed for not toeing the line of the West.

Among the many things he has been criticized of by the Norwegian diplomat and the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ambassador to the UN Mona Juul is how the Secretary General reacted to the military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group.

GermanyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Der Spiegel magazine publishing a report on the leaked documents of Norway said, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Another example of BanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s weakness was the war in Sri Lanka, Juul wrote, where the secretary-general could only stand by as thousands lost their lives and were driven from their homes. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The authorities in Colombo refused to receive the secretary-general during military operations. But he was invited ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ and accepted an invitation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ as soon as the war had been ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”wonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Juul noted. The Norwegian diplomat ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ who is married to Terje Roed Larsen, a Norwegian and senior UN official who has worked closely with Ban on several missions in the recent past ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ added that the secretary-general lacks ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-moral authority.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Western nations including Britain and France, in contrast, made a last minute effort to stop the mission against the terrorist group the LTTE. LTTE later revealed they trusted on the Western nations to save the life of Velupillai Prabhakaran who died on May 18 in the military operation.

Norway was the broker of a highly controversial peace accord between Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. It was known to be drafted by PrabhakaranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s chief advisor, the late Anton Balasingham, who was a close personal friend of Eric Solhiem of Norway who played a major role in the peace accord.

The peace accord, that came to be very controversial , was accused of being very partial to the LTTE and ended very unsuccessfully.

The present government of Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapaksa abrogated the peace accord and crushed the LTTE in May this year.

Mona Juul said Ban Ki Moon had also displayed his weakness in the face of the global financial crisis, on environmental issues and the situation in Myanmar where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been in detention for decades.

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