Will new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office Ms Tamara Kunanayakam be able to deliver the goods?
Posted on August 20th, 2011

Malin Abeyatunge

We have no qualms of the appointment of Ms Tamara Kunanayakam as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Do we? May be she will join the caliber of our gentleman Politician late Lakshman Kadirgamar. However, having observed and experienced the biased attitudes towards LTTE by a Tamil Sri Lankan Radhika Coomaraswamy holding one of the UNO top positions, Sri Lankans at large will be little more skeptical of this appointment to that prestigious position at a crucial time which is a life and death situation for Sri Lanka. It is crucial because there is open conspiracy by the west at the next UNHRC session in September to drag Sri Lanka to the war crime gallows. The government strategy (if there is) will be successful only if she acts as a Sri Lankan but not as a Tamil. It was Dr. Dayan Jayatilake and his efficient colleagues who saved Sri Lanka at the last session from another catastrophe on a venomous campaign launched against Sri Lanka by the west. Tamara has to perform better than Dayan as the things have gone from bad to worst against Sri Lanka’s image after the infamous Channel 4 fake film clip which the gullible west is banking on as a proof of war crimes and the Darusman Report (not a UN report. Even SG Ban-ki-Moon doesn’t want to proceed further on this report). Will she or can she perform fearlessly as we will have to accept the fact that the Tamil Diaspora’s propaganda is very strong in Switzerland and other EU Countries in influencing the gullible. She may have to expect some aggressive demonstrations by the LTTE rump opposite UN Office in Geneva. Can she deliver the goods the way Sri Lankan Governments expects?

 I would like to recall during the 1983 riots, except in UK, the embassies and the high commissions in rest of the western world were manned by Tamil ambassadors and high commissioners. They did not find difficult to convince the diplomats, government authorities and the politicians in the countries they were domiciled that there is discrimination and racism against the Tamils in Sri Lanka by the majority Sinhalese. A simple question they would have asked these ambassadors, High Commissioners and the Tamil staff in these offices is that how come they are here as Sri Lankan Reps if there was any discrimination against the Tamils. After 1983, they developed an everlasting rapport with those governments against Sri Lanka in support of the Tamils Diaspora and has been continued to this date. It is difficult to break the ice and these countries continue to support the LTTE supportive Tamil Diaspora albeit LTTE is a banned terrorist outfit. I would quote two recent examples from UK which is a safe haven for the LTTE terrorists and now the LTTE rump. One is that British PM David Cameron attending Global Tamil Forum seminar against Sri Lanka and the other is UNSG Ban-ki-Moon posing for a photo with British Tamil Forum (BTF) spokesperson Suresh Premachandran. Both these organizations have been funding the LTTE war machine under dubious fronts. Whilst supporting the LTTE terrorists in the past and the LTTE rump now, David Cameron and his cabinet has introduced draconian laws to deal with the promoters of the recent riots. In the same tone, Britain has been pressuring the successive Sri Lankan Governments over the years to withdraw the Emergency regulations. Isn’t it double standard?

 Will Tamara maintain her integrity in dealing with Sri Lankan issues in the UN? Take the case f Radhika Coomaraswamy a Tamil woman who was appointed to a top position in the UNO by her friend then President Chandrika Bandaranayake. It is not a secret that Radhika Coomaraswamy has been appeasing and defending LTTE ( keeping mum without taking any action when LTTE continued to conscript child soldiers) right thro out until the LTTE was defeated militarily. Take the case of Navi Pillai another Tamil woman of Indian Origin from South Africa. Her actions, attitudes and various statements attribute to support the LTTE terrorist outfit so much so she is also devastated by the defeat of her favorite baby LTTE, she launched a venomous campaign in the UNHRC bashing Sri Lanka calling for war crimes as an act of revenge. Isn’t that a case of “blood is thicker than water”?. So am I wrong being skeptical of the appointment of Tamara Kunanayakam to that prestigious and very important position specially at a crucial time when the west has conspired and all out to bash Sri Lanka for war crimes. Tamara has a Herculean task ahead in handling the very powerful LTTE supportive Tamil Diaspora widely spread in Switzerland and the neighboring EU countries. Will she be tough enough to tell the Sri Lankan truth at the next UNHRC session without facing resistance from the Tamil Diaspora? She has represented Sri Lanka in countries like Cuba and Brazil which there were no big presence of Tamil Diaspora. So she has to show her metal to safeguard the Sri Lanka Government from brickbats that will be thrown by the west.

We have already seen two stooges in the UN supporting LTTE and currently the LTTE rump and hope that Tamara will not join the clan to make it “three” to prove “birds of a feather flock together”.

 Malin Abeyatunge

10 Responses to “Will new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office Ms Tamara Kunanayakam be able to deliver the goods?”

  1. Ben_silva Says:

    good article. Hope she function as a professional. Many Tamils have shown that they can function as Professionals. Unfortunately, some like Coomaraswamy have shown that they are racists.

  2. gamunu6 Says:

    Dear Malin Abeytunga!

    Very impressive & thought provoking article… We must now show more that ever, flexibility & ” giving a chance to a person of that calibre & experience”. After all, President must be aware of her conduct as an Ambassodor of Sri Lanka to Brazil & Cuba, if I remember correct. This is a very important assignment due to militant attitude which STILL prevail in overseas tamil community.

    Perhaps Govt. had taken a chance to see how she will perform in this delicate & demanding post, where we have seen protests , disturbances by Tamil rump.

    If she proves to be much better, diplomatic in conducting her affairs, bringing respect & honour to her Motherland~ Sri lanka, then all the power to her.

    I realize that most Tamils tend to work on Sri lankan issues as TAMILS first when their duty is to Sri Lanka as daughter of her country of birth. Whatever govt. of the day outlines as policies, must be followed without any bias towards the tamil community, as she is supposed to represent Sri Lanka as a whole multi cultural diverse country, where Sinhalese, tamils, Muslims, burghers live in harmony.

    So lets take a chance, give her a chance and ofcourse valued Journalists like you Malin can also monitor & raise issues if she faulters. If she proves her metal she would rise to status of late Mr. Laksman Kathiragam our foreign minister who was gunned fown by his own people, the tamils.

    Let me again commend you for your exemplorary contribution to readers regarding this
    and other matters concerning our motherland- Sri lanka.

    May God bless & May the noble triple gems, guide & guard you in years to come..

    Just a concerned citizen…..Gamunu Alahakkone. P. Eng (Canada), C. Eng (UK). retired engineer.

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    The SriLankan Govt has appointed Tamara Kunanayakam in good faith and her performance would certainly depend upon none other than but her own upbringing. A person coming from a good family with a good upringinging would not waiver under pressure or due to selfish reasons, whether he or she is a Sinhalese or Tamil or whatever other ethnic group.
    We now know Ms Coomarasamy’s and Navi Pillai’s family upbringings haven’t given them the strength to act honestly and impartially and thus they have miserably failed to protect the truth. Now that Ms Kunanayakam is our new rep at the UN Office in Geneva, we can only hope that her parents and school had given her a good upbringing, like we saw in the Late Mr Kadiragama, and she would reciprocate positively to the SL Govts faith entrusted on her.

  4. Marco Says:

    Judging by the article by Malin Abeytunge (with a few factual inaccuracies) and the comments it appears that knives are being sharpened. I wonder if Tamara was a Sinhalese if this article or comments would appear in this blog.

    I wish her well in her new assignment and am sure she will perform her duties with integrity and without compromising her own credibility.
    Her rapport and experience in South America is extremely useful in the coming months.
    Naturally, MR GOSL felt she was the most capable and with integrity, respect within the international community to deal with such an appointment.

    No doubt she will have the intelligence to take no notice of rabble-rousers from the diasporas or the diashoras to achieve her objective.

  5. ranjith Says:

    By appointing Tamara for this top Post, Government will reap the harvest very soon. Definetely!

  6. Charles Says:

    I Think Tamara is an excellent choice.

    She is young and experienced. I am sure she knows what is expected of her.

    Why should we be pessimistic about her appointment ?

    She has all the necessary qualificqtions to be an excellent representative of Sri Lanka. Let us wish her well.

    May she be successful in all her positive endevours , and may she be a credit to her motherland.

  7. Naram Says:

    I read an article once by Mrs Tamara Kunanayagam to present the case of Sri Lankan government to oppse LTTE setting upa base in a South American country.

    I was impressed by the her style, precision, power and eloquence. She, I felt is a true inheritor of the great tradition, Lakshman Kadiragamer and many before him set to represent Sri Lanka at the highest positions bringing honour and dignity to the country of herbirth.

    She will have many mountains to climb. THere will be many knives out to get her from many sides ofoursad ethnic divides. I am sure she has the capacity and innate sound character and personality to rise above the humdrum sectarian nonsense.

    Let us wish her success.

  8. Marco Says:

    Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka On Ambassador Tamara Kunanayaka

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/08/dr-dayan-jayatilleka-on-ambassador.html

    Response by DJ to the above article published in Sri Lankan Guardian and Lankaweb.

    Is this the “kiss of death”?

    With regard to the concluding paragraph DJ and RW should “high five” each other and patting themselves in the back.

  9. jimmy Says:

    Agree with you all

    wish her all success.

  10. Marco Says:

    I’m surprised the author had not fully researched the background of the recently appointed PR to the UN office in Geneva.

    In 1987, as a member of the World Student Christian Federation, Ms Tamara Kunanayakam unequivocally condemned the human rights violations in sri lanka, quoting reports by UN Special Rapporteurs.

    http://www.srilankabrief.org/2011/08/tamara-kunanayakam-sl-ambassader-to.html

    Will she express the same views at the UN?

    I guess, as with President MR, human rights violation “goal posts” changes when its on the other foot.

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