Former Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam today lashed out at Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera against the claims he had made on a TV program earlier this week, describing the former diplomat as one who ‘came forward on behalf of the LTTE’.
At a press conference this morning, Kunanayakam responded to the allegations made by Minister Samaraweera on March 17 during a political program in Swarnavahini, as part of a response he made on a question posed on the controversial audit report into the renovations carried out at the Official Residence of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to Geneva and former Foreign Ministry Secretary Kshenuka Senewirathne’s link to the issue.
The Minister had stated that its necessary to ‘find out’ about Kunanayakam, who is continuously highlighting the issue on the audit report and had said that she came forward on behalf of the LTTE at the UN and in the Human Rights Council in 1989 -1990.
Kunanayakam in her response to the allegations said the Minister has misused the fact that she is a Tamil to automatically brand her as being an advocate of the LTTE while blatantly ignoring the fact that she has consistently and relentlessly fought against the LTTE and criticized the terrorist group throughout her private and professional life.
She recalled the statement made by the Minister few days ago on the need to review the ban imposed by the previous government on diaspora groups and individuals as no tangible evidence linking them to the LTTE exists. She questioned as to whether his comments on her means there is ‘tangible evidence’ to prove she came forward on behalf of the LTTE.
“Does this mean that my name appears on a list of LTTE terrorists or does it mean that Minister Samaraweera intends to draw up a new list of Tamils that he believes were with the LTTE and to put me on that list?’ she questioned.
She went on to state that as a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka, it appalls her to think that Sri Lanka should lose its credibility internationally simply because it’s Foreign Minister is a liar, ‘playing on racist and chauvinist anti-Tamil sentiment just so he can eliminate a person that he finds dangerous’.
“It’s not only weak but also devastating for the image of the country. . . In my mind, such a person is unsuitable to represent us internationally,” she said while adding she has already sought the possibility of taking legal action against the Foreign Minister.
Following is her statement in full: