|Racism will finally ruin SL for good. These idiots cannot simply think beyond racism. Just read how they messed up in geneva partly due to total lack of wisdom but mainly due to Sinhala racism.
This woman Tamara, who really claimed to be very intelligent and very exposed woman yet she does not know how racist SL operates its affairs. As some one said Sinhalays are prepared to let the country go to dogs or donkeys but now allow Tamils to help the nation - and reading this piece will confirm this position. Tamara to me is still a fool and she is wasting her time and talent with these racist fools and soon they will brand her as a Tiger Agent and send her away!
Many Sri Lankans watching live proceedings of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the fateful Thursday of March 22nd 2012 were puzzled by the composition of our representatives when the spotlight was on Sri Lanka in Geneva.
With our learned minister of External Affairs himself being present in Geneva it was but natural to expect that Prof GL Peiris would deliver the official response of Sri Lanka. Instead we saw the Plantations Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe functioning as leader of delegation read out from a prepared text in what was visibly a lack- lustre performance.
This was rather strange for at least three reasons. Firstly it is customary for the Minister in charge of External or Foreign affairs to lead the delegation officially when he or she is present. Secondly Mahinda Samarasinghe had already spoken once on behalf of Sri Lanka earlier during the High level segment period on February 27th when the 19th session of the UNHRC got officially underway. Thirdly in comparison with Samarasinghe,Prof Peiris would have done the Country proud by rising to the occasion eruditely, eloquently and effectively.
Besides Prof.Peiris was not even seated at the side of Samarasinghe when the Plantations minister read out the statement.It was former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris who shared the honour of frontal prominence with Samarasinghe and not his Professorial namesake. The External affairs minister was relegated to a seat behind Samarasinghe. Seated alongside Peiris was the self confessed half Democrat and Traditional Industry minister Kathiravely Devananda alias Douglas .
That was not all! While almost every country at the UNHRC on that day was represented by their permanent representative or deputy permanent representative to the UN,Sri Lanka s permanent representative Tamara Kunanayakam and her deputy Manisha Gunasekera seemed to be conspicuous absentees.Both were not visible as the cameras focused on the four gentlemen from Sri Lanka. Where oh where was Tamara Kunanayakam our woman in Geneva ?
Having read many reports in sections of the Sri Lankan media extolling the virtues of certain personalities while denigrating others I jumped to the conclusion that Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam had been sidelined by influential members of the Colombo caucus who had invaded Geneva temporarily and were strutting about dressed briefly in authority .
I thought then that Lewis Carroll s Wonderland was being enacted without Alice in a month where individuals as mad as march hares leap and bound. But I learnt later that Tamara had indeed been present.
Only, Sri Lankas officially accredited permanent representative to the UN in Geneva could not get a seat among representatives from her mother land and had been compelled to seek occupy a seat vacated by Gambia.After weeks of painstaking spadework our woman in Geneva could not find accommodation with the big boys from Colombo.
Ambassador Kunanayakam however had her day on March 23rd when the 19th session of the UNHRC formally concluded. With the ministerial heavy weights departing , the field was clear for Sri Lanka s permanent representative to make her closing remarks at the end of the session.
Sri Lanka is proud to have led a battle of convictions by appealing to the conscience of each and every one for the respect of the principles and values that should unite the international community Ambassador Kunanayakam said.
The US resolution against Sri Lanka constitutes a negative precedent that challenges the core values of the Human Rights Council, and reflects a blatant case of politicization that takes the Council hostage to the hidden agendas of the mighty she pointed out.
Speaking further at the session chaired by the President of the UNHRC, Laura Dupuy Lasserre of Uruguay, the Sri Lankan envoy to the UN in Geneva said
Today, one country deems itself the depositary of a mission to dictate to the rest of world its vision of Democracy, of Human Rights, of Development. Is any of us safe from becoming the next target, the object of pressure, even of military aggression, to the detriment of our peoples and their right to life?
It is our duty to unite in the common struggle to defend our sovereignty, our independence, our territorial integrity, and the free choice of our peoples to shape their own societies and their destiny.
Sri Lanka will continue its policy of peace and reconciliation, which is an inclusive process that enjoys not only the support of its own people, but broad international support.
We will also continue to defend the independence and the prerogatives of the Human Rights Council, against any effort to undermine its multilateral principles.
We must heal not hurt unite not divide ! The victory of one nation over domination is our collective victory, its defeat is our collective defeat!
Sri Lanka pays homage to all those who, in various ways, expressed their support for our common cause!
After Kunanayakam s closing remarks a Western Human rights activist who is familiar with the Sri Lankan situation as well as the UN in Geneva observed that it would have been better if she had been allowed to make the statement on behalf of Sri Lanka when the vote was taken on the US sponsored resolution.
Apart from her intrinsic merit and ability to make an effective presentation it may also have helped Sri Lanka to project a better image as Tamara Kunanayakam happens to be ethnically a Tamil this HR activist stated in what was strictly a personal opinion.
At a time when there is so much of criticism against Sri Lanka about alleged discrimination against Tamils and at a time when there was lobbying in Geneva by Tamil groups on those lines, it would have been a good idea to let a Tamil woman represent Sri Lanka the activist emphasized.
From what I know about Tamara Kunanayakam, she may be ethnically a Tamil but she does not think of herself as Tamil. Tamara regards herself as Sri Lankan I replied.
That may be so but it does not matter.It is the optics that counts. The Tamil groups have been attacking Kunanayakam viciously saying she was a token Tamil appointed by Mahinda Rajapakse to Geneva. So why not play that card to Sri Lanka s advantage ? was again the query.
I replied that I did not know why it was not so but that I could guess. I also said In Sri Lanka these things happen all the time .
Even though I replied the human rights activist in that manner I must say that I too was puzzled to use a mild expression by the inexplicable under utilization of Ambassador Kunanayakam at the UNHRC during showtime .
In this I am not referring to exploiting her Tamilness alone but also to her background and proficiency that would have served Sri Lanka so well in Geneva.It must however be stressed that her absence at showtime does not in any way detract from her overall performance in Geneva at a critical time.
It is indeed unfortunate that a lot of negative publicity has been generated due to the huge number of persons sent by Sri Lanka to Geneva to lobby for the Country. Some plants in sections of the media by certain ministers denigrate the performance of some other ministers as well as the officials at our permanent mission in Geneva.
The impression sought to be conveyed is that all effective lobbying was done only at the last stages by our minister studded delegation and that they alone were responsible for garnering support at the UNHRC. It also implies that Sri Lankan officials in Geneva were inefficient and ineffective and that ministers from Colombo had to do all the lobbying and canvassing.This is rather absurd and far,far from the truth.
This inaccurate impression ignores the fact that Ambassador Kunanayakam and loyal members of her staff have been systematically engaged in promoting the Sri Lankan cause and forging vital alliances in a bid to gain wider support for the Country. It also seeks to negate the Important role played by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and External Affairs minister Peiris in enlisting support for Sri Lanka.
What is being glossed over or not realized comprehensively is the fact that President Rajapaksa, Minister GL Peiris and Ambassador Kunanayakam are all of the same mind and opinion in formulating and implementing an approach towards US inspired developments in the UNHR. The policy guidelines were laid down by the President himself and executed by the Minister and Ambassador.
The significant feature of this policy was that it was based on principles and not on expediency. The President was prepared to lose rather than compromise on principles. The final outcome of the vote therefore is not perceived as a defeat in war but as the first encounter in a series of battles.
What is more the stance adopted by President Rajapaksa had a very good chance of succeeding at the vote too.That is until India dealt Sri Lanka a diplomatic blow. Had New Delhi not changed course after assuring Colombo of unwavering support , Sri Lanka may have altered its strategy differently. The Indian inconsistency gave Sri Lanka very little time to adjust accordingly.
It is against this backdrop that the observations by the human rights activist about the perceived under utilization of Ambassador Kunanayakam assumes relevance. Given her long years of experience with the UN in Geneva,her shared world view and affinity to President Rajapaksa and the reality of her ethnicity, it does make sense to say that better use should have been made of her utilitarian and optic value. But this did not happen to a very great extent and other invaders either eroded into or usurped her legitimate authority and functions.
It is all the more puzzling because President Rajapaksa had apparently recognized and appreciated the fact that Tamara Kunanayakam would be an asset to the Presidency and the Country at the UN in Geneva. This is why he recalled Kshenuka Seneviratne from Geneva before her term was over and filled that vacancy with Tamara.Kshenuka was appointed Additional secretary to the ministry in Colombo.
This action was not a slight on Seneviratne but only an illustration of the Presidents acumen in placing the right person at the right time in the right place.Given Tamara Kunanayakam s credentials there is little doubt that she was indeed a very good choice given President Rajapaksas own attitude and approach towards the issue.
There were basically two schools of thought in this matter.One was the school which thought it could buy time by discussing and compromising. The other school was against giving in through appeasement and wanted to resist with the principle based support of fellow developing and non aligned nations. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Tamara Kunanayakam belonged to the latter school of thought.
Thus when Tamara Kunanayakam was appointed to Geneva it was welcomed by those knowledgeable about the actual stakes involved.It was felt that multiple factors rendered her the suitable choice in the current environment to be our woman in Geneva. She was ideally equipped to lead Sri Lanka s diplomatic campaign at the Geneva UNHRC front. A fellow Sri Lankan diplomat gushed If Tamara was not for real we will have to invent her .