21 April, 2024


Mangala Is A Liar! He Has Misused My Tamil Ethnicity To Brand Me As A LTTE Advocate: Tamara

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’.

Tamara Kunanayakam

Tamara Kunanayakam

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:


Tamara b


Tamara c






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Latest comments

  • 14

    “Kunanayakam in her response to the allegations said the Minister has misused the fact that she is a Tamil”

    Anyway all’s well that ends well because now she has found out that she is Thamil Thamarai instead of traitor tamara.She was willing to defend a man in the UN who allegedly massacred upto 40000 tamil civilians in one go.Then that man found that she was more interested in going after the US for ideological reasons and appointed the sajin vaas,kshenuka duo to replace her because the last thing he wanted was to make an unecessary enemy of the US.Hence tamara’s vendetta against kshenuka because she is still having a job even after the regime change.

    • 2

      excellent observation. Very well said. There’s absolutely no way of denying the ‘unethical’ nature of TK’s decision to accept a position within the Rajapaksa regime. Instead, she should have done better to extend her critique of imperialism to the neo-liberally imperialistic, highly neoconservative, uptight, repressive and autocratic Rajapaksa regime, and talked for the suppressed voices, both Tamil and Sinhalese, from Mullivaikkal to Ratupaswela and Aluthgama (especially given TK’s strong proclamation of being ‘Sri Lankan’, and to quote Dayan Jayatilleka, a ‘third wordlist’).

      This is what happens when a good Western education is not complemented by an extended, expanded critical perspective, in which one is brought to constantly put oneself and the world around oneself into critical questioning. It’s simply not enough to take binary positions (like Tamara’s anti-imperialism) but it is important to contextualise such positions in a broader perspective, and that helps make the critique more consistent and poignant.

    • 2

      Tamara gave refuge to Mahinda in Geneva in 1987.

  • 8

    Intervention by Miss Tamara Kunanayakam, World Student Christian Federation

    I speak on behalf of the World Student Christian Federation, a non-governmental organisation with movements in more than 90 countries throughout the world.

    It is increasingly recognised in reports of the Commission ‘s monitoring bodies in respect of detention, torture, enforced disappearances and summary executions, that these violations are usually part of a systematic pattern, and such systematic violations of human rights usually betray structural root causes which need to be addressed before the violations will disappear. For example, the Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (E/CN. 4/1987/15/Add.], paragraph 43) stated with regard to Peru that “it is not feasible to divorce the issue of disappearance completely from related violations of human rig/Its or from the socio-political processes that have engendered them

    He concludes that ‘only when the structural factors that contributed to the spiral of terror and counter-terror are properly dealt with, can there he any hope of preventing a recurrence of the excesses of the past. The report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture (E/CN.4/]987/13, para.5) states that ‘torture almost invariably takes place in a political context, ” and that ”victims of torture are very often opponents of the government in power.

    These reports show that the inter-related violations such as torture, disappearances and summary executions are manifestations of deeper structural realities. Mr Chairman, it is within this wider context identified by the Special Rapporteurs that we wish to deal with tile violations of human rights that occur in Sri Lanka. Our case is that the government of Sri Lanka should address itself to the underlying causes if it is genuine/v commuted to the restoration of human rig/Its in that country.

    The distinguished delegate of Norway yesterday (24/2/8 7) said “Enforced and involuntary disappearances and torture of persons seem to be used as convenient tactics for governments suppressing opponents and espousing a policy of stifling dissent often on the grounds of national security or with reference to the national integrity and sovereignty.” This is exactly the practice prevailing in Sri Lanka today, in the context of the government’s failure to address itself to the legitimate grievances of the Tamil people stemming from socio-economic and political causes.

    There is incontrovertible evidence that compared to previous years, larger numbers of people have been arrested in 1986, very often on a mass scale, and detained for prolonged periods. A civil rights monitoring group in Sri Lanka estimates that the total number taken into custody during 1986 to be in the region of 14,000 persons. Those arrested are detained not in normal detention centres but in army camps located in various parts of the country under degrading conditions.

    Most of the arrests, the victims of which, by and large, are Tamils, are effected under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations. It may he noted that the Prevention of Terrorism Act has been described by the International Commission of Jurists as an ugly blot on the statute hook of any civilised country. Sri Lanka has been ruled by the present government under a state of emergency for most of its life since 1977.

    The Prevention of Terrorism Act authorises detention up to a period of 18 months and Emergency Regulations for an unlimited period. Yesterday (24/2/87) the Sri Lankan delegate sought to argue that unlimited detention is not possible under Emergency Regulations because orders under a State of Emergency can legally last only for a month.

    The fact of the matter is that the State of Emergency has been renewed every month without interruption during the last several years thus enabling detention of persons for unlimited periods. The Committee for Monitoring Cessation of Hostilities appointed by the government itself in its report dated 17 January, 1986 stated that “Those held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for more than 18 months are served with detention orders under Emergency Regulations which authorise unlimited detention.”

    For all practical purposes there is no prospect of judicial review of detention of persons whether under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or Emergency Regulations. Mr Chairman, yesterday (24/2/87) the Sri Lankan delegate sought to impress this Commission about the remedy available by way of habeas corpus applications. This remedy in actual practice has proved ineffective and in most cases unavailable. In this connection the President of the Law Society Sri Lanka has said ”Since it is a tedious legal process which entails inordinate delays, a Habeas Corpus application does not serve the intended purpose. Quite a large number of applications in respect of persons about whom nothing is known after arrest, is still pending in the Appeal Court.” (Island, 20 January, 1986).

    The Sri Lankan delegate also claimed yesterday, that detainees or their relatives have the right to make representations to an Advisory Board appointed by the President. A delegation of the UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group which visited Sri Lanka in February 1985 stated, “The problem is that it frequently takes several months for tile parent’s or mother’s letter requesting a review to reach the Advisory Board via the Ministry of Defence. And, once the Board has made its recommendation, it takes several more months before the Ministry of Defence acts upon it.”

    The Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations have removed most of the legal safeguards prescribed under the International Covenants on Human Rights. Prolonged incommunicado detention without trial is the norm. The whereabouts of people arrested and detained are not made known to relatives. Lawyers and relatives have no access to detainees in most cases.

    Mr Chairman, it is in this context that many substantiated cases of torture and deaths in custody have been reported, so much so that the Special Rapporteur on Torture has expressed great concern his report referring to Sri Lanka. The suspension of important legal safeguards under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations have created conditions conducive to the practice of torture.

    Another new but reprehensible development reported during1986 has been the use of detainees as hostages and/or human shields during military operations by security forces.

    There is also substantial evidence to indicate that over a thousand persons have disappeared or gone missing after being taken into custody. Besides the well documented Amnesty International Report on Disappearances, dated September 1986, the UN Working Group also has reported an in increasing number of disappearances.

    The current report before this Commission by the Special Rapporteur refers to 321 outstanding cases of disappearances transmitted to the Sri Lanka government of which it was able to provide clarification in only 5 cases. By an standards this is unacceptable.

    Mr.Chairman, while the violations of human rights to which we have adverted occur in the context of a continuing ethnic conflict, there is increasing evidence that wider sections of the whole Sri Lanka population, including those belonging to the Sinhala community, are becoming victims of similar violations. And very often the victims have been members of a wide range of opposition groups including members of some political parties, trade unions, women, student and human rights organisations.

    Referring to the situation in south Sri Lanka, the Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners (CROPP) an organisation based mainly in South Sri Lanka and whose leadership by and large belong to the Sinhala community, in recent statement said –

    Reports coming in from those close to arrested persons reveal that tactics of arrest and detention long associated with repressive regimes in Latin America and in Asia. in the Philippines wider the Marcos government, have been put into practice in Sri Lanka:

    * people are followed and picked up from the street. from public transport. in unmarked vehicles by persons in civil clothes;

    * houses and boarding houses are raided at night:

    * torches are flashed into the faces of suspects to blind’ them and prevent identification;

    * private homes and offices are used as places of detention and interrogation

    * families are never informed as to the cause of arrest; deliberate deception is also resorted to, to prevent families pursuing inquiries.”

    The same organisation also expressed its concern that “powers of arbitrary arrest and detention arrogated by the State are being increasingly used to silence its political opponents and to stifle popular protest against the regime.”

    Mr Chairman, it should thus be recognised that these violations in the South are also occurring in a broader socio-political context, denial of basic trade union and democratic rights. Pickets, demonstrations and strikes have often been banned under Emergency Regulations, and when they had taken place those workers who participated have been summarily dismissed from employment. For instance, when the Bank Employees decided to take industrial action in the form of a ‘work to rule’ campaign, Emergency Regulations were promulgated declaring banking and associated activities Essential Services, all industrial action made illegal, the entire leadership of the Bank Employees Union summarily dismissed and the Union’s assets made liable to confiscation. In addition, the civic rights of the leaders of the Bank Union were made liable to be deprived.

    In the political arena, the right of the people to participate in the political processes by means of regular elections has been denied since 1977, by the extension of the life of parliament without a general election. In place of a general election, a referendum was held under a State of Emergency.

    The Parliamentary Elections Commissioner in a recent report has catalogued substantial electoral malpractices as having taken place during this referendum. In the absence of an orderly democratic means of expression by the people or sections of the people, contradictions amid conflicts are bound to result leading to a repressive response from the State. And it is that response, accompanied by a process of miilitarisation, which has brought in its train the practice of arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, disappearances amid summary executions, not only in the areas affected by the armed ethnic conflict, but increasingly so in the South of the island.

    Mr Chairman, the real situation is reflected by the fact that Sri Lanka bias figured prominently in the three reports of the Special Rapporteurs and by the fact that thousands have fled the country in search of physical security, and not by the abstract, technical and often theoretical arguments advanced by Sri Lanka before this Commission

    Mr Chairman, no longer can the government of Sri Lanka divert the attention of those genuinely concerned by the human rights situation in that country by references to separatism and terrorism. It must, as we said earlier, address itself to the root causes that have given rise to violence and violations that characterise Sri Lankan society today.

  • 11

    Dayan is defending the Rajapaksa, Rajiva has crossed over to the opposition, GL is hiding, and now Tamara is wants to sue the Foreign Minister. This is very ironic state of affairs good only for entertainment, not serious food for thought or something to worry about.

  • 7

    Mangala doesn’t hesitate to verbally attack and run down women publicly whenever he gets an opportunity. He was the media minister during Chandrikas regime he is reported to have told the country’s leading woman athlete Susanthika, that she was “mentally deranged” and resembled “a black South African man.” This he said to support his friend SB who was the sports Minister then and who was reported to have sexually harassed Susanthika. She had to come public as she was under threat by SB for exposing him.

  • 17


    Aney, Tamara, so they are automatically branding you an LTTE terrorist just because you are a Tamil, are they? How terrible.

    Now, you might think that such a terrible injustice has only happened to you in the history of this blessed island. You might be surprised therefore to know that countless other Tamils have been conveniently branded LTTE before by the state and individual sinhalese for a whole host of reasons: professional jealousy, political expediency, business competition, so on and so forth. And a lot of those Tamils had to undergo much worse after such branding than what you are undergoing – including torture, humiliation, loss of economic fortunes, even death. All this while you were actively defending the state which sanctioned such branding at the UN.

    Lets be clear. It was OK for you to highlight the LTTE atrocities at the UN. Any upright human being can do that. No Tamil in their right mind should accuse you of being a traitor for doing that. But it was not OK for you to whitewash the atrocities of the Sri Lankan state. You did that for a few bones. This is the trouble with being selfish, Tamara. When you are discarded there are no sympathizers. Please keep your sob stories to yourself.

  • 1

    Who is giving thumbs down to every comment……..

    • 1

      The pews are empty in the west because they produce the finest crusaders.

      Doesn’t she look like one.

      My interest is why could she not influence the release of sentenced to death at Saudi Rizanna the girl from Batti??
      If only she looked for the one person at Geneve of higher class she would have made a name for herself at SL than this stupid public bickering.

      The muslims and the sihalese could not help because their link is to Pan_Arab support.

  • 7

    Mangala Samaraweeera: You owe Ms. Kumanayakam a big APOLOGY. I repeat a big Apology.
    This proves beyond doubt that Mangala is a racist.
    All of us (Sinhalease and Tamils) are very disappointed in Mangala’s statement.
    Ms. Kumanayakam, Please trust that you will be given your due place in due course, Millions of us are behind you.

  • 7

    Tamara…Don’t worry, we will teach Mangala a lesson in the next election.

  • 11

    Whatever judgments are afloat about Tamara, one has to give her credit. She did in fact advocate for the victims of the 82 riots, highlighting the role of the JR government in that tragedy. She also advocated on behalf of the people murdered during the JVP insurgency – most of these victims were Sinhalese. And she was a vocal critic of the LTTE against its use of child soldiers and violence against civilians.

    So I can believe her claim that human rights trumps ethnic allegiances for herself. I wish all of us could say that and behave in a consistent manner, regardless of who is in power and who will “benefit” from a given situation.

    I also give her kudos for having the guts to stand up to people who want to pigeon-hole her into a mold that THEY are comfortable with, primarily based on her ethnicity. For “human rights” or defense there of is not exclusively the domain of one ethnicity or for that matter one country. A moral human being should decry not only the abuses of SLA and police, but also those of the LTTE and other para-militaries, the JVP and all the b****y SL politicians who have promoted racism and orchestrated violence against civilians.

  • 1


    Close upon 50 responses to this article and you have all with your strict marking no?

    Mangala,Tamara,Kshenuka TRIO is more difficult than the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos?

  • 10

    This woman was hired as it were by Rajapaksa as if to beat her chest and cry out loud at a traditional Tamil funeral when the true mourners were either tired or bored to shed genuine tears. Bensen

  • 3

    Tamara was at the barricades in Geneva with the LTTE while Jayantha Dhanapala and Mahinda Samarasinghe were there. I myself has one hell of a time convincing the Swiss (German) media that all singhalease were not “Blood Thirsty” They will be the best people to tell Mangala if she was a LTTE mole or not.

    I figure They had already asked for asylum for political reasons in Switzerland.
    There is a recording floating somewhere where she was on a TV open end discussion in 1984 held in Zurich, Here one could see where her affliations are.
    MR was befriended by her brother in the 70s on the streets of Geneva, So in gratitude for that act of kindness, the rest is history

    • 5

      Yes, The Sri Lankan embassy in Geneva had a file on her activities.
      I am quite sure Jayantha Dhanapala and Mahinda Samarasinghe could shed more light on her activities in Geneva before her sudden love of Sri Lanka, If I am right on that TV discussion in 1984 she refused to shake the hand pf a Singhalease participant as he requested to demonstrate that Singhalease and Tamils can live together.
      Politics ceratinly makes strange bedfellows.

      • 1


        Moat probably there are some SL Tamils working at this company so when these “T” shivering modayas saw them they thought this is a LTTE company ha ha ha ha ha

        • 3

          Cholan, There are no Tamils working on building sites in Geneva, If there be any then only in Zurich, This company has been tailor made to accept this contract. Most tamils work washing dishes or as waiters in Switzerland

          • 0

            so why these jokers say this company belong to LTTE…..all Asians including doctors and engineers washing plates in Switzerland because easy to get this job second big money..Swiss government don’t accept Asian studies ..so it is not the faulte of SL Tamils ,,moreover work is respected in Europe ..even children from wealthy families wash toilet during vacation I understand

          • 1

            “”There are no Tamils working on building sites in Geneva,””

            Back in the late 80’s there have been Jaffna Tamil electricians in building trade on construction sites according to swiss german sub contractors- their complain was against cheap and intelligent labour that does not socialise.

            The village in the jungle up north like baddegama- another book for a Wolf to write about after 100 years.

  • 5

    Periya dorai.

    Have you seen a file relating to Jayantha Dhanapala when he was a member of the Board of Dialog which blocked Colombo Telegraph? At the same time he was issuing statements on behalf of Friday Forum!

    Money talks big or small! Periya dorai or Sinna dorai!

    • 0

      Plato! Plato!!, Think again, So what I said is true, there is a file on her activities, just ask any sri lankan living in Switzerland what her affliations were, BTW are you from there ?

  • 3

    Hi Tamara Kunanazyakam

    During the present 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Amnesty International had a meeting on disappearance in Sri Lanka.

    In this meeting, one Adrian Solar, a NGO representative said that during you period as Official of the UN Working group of Disappearances, you have destroyed thousands of cases of disappearances in Sri Lanka.

    Is it true?

    If not contact Amnesty international who organised this meeting.

    We are sure that you must be knowing this person Adrian Solar.

    Waiting for your honest reply in the CT

    • 1

      Nothing new she would have done this to please murderer Mahinda….this woman has no shame or conscious who went to justify the rapes of her own Tamil sisters and murders……

      A disgrace to Tamils ..

      Look at her face she look like a pakka Sinhalese

  • 3

    so suddenly now you are a Tamil,, I think you miss MR a lot..
    Mangala yr rite put this woman 150yrs behind bars..
    Justice done..

  • 0

    Look like Tamara Kunanyakam exposed and the court case is a wash out.

    she is an opportunist.so was the velupillai pabakaran.

  • 2

    Periya dorai.

    I find it hard to believe this.She was at Geneva appointed by Mahinda Rajapakse himself at the crucial period.If there was any semblance of suspicion she would have been white-vanned!

    In the 90s Irish guys working in London were also labelled as Sinn-Fein in the same way every Tamil was seen as a potential Tiger! Plato had many such friends who complained bitterly for the indignity.

    • 1

      You find it hard to believe ?,where are you coming from?. Anyone living in Switzerland will tell you about TK. She is a climber and will stoop to any level to get what she wants

    • 0

      You have no bloody idea whats going on in Switzerland, Just ask around and see what a blunder MR made re. TK. find out who was Kandasamy

  • 0

    First, read this, Did Tamara Kunanayakam Destroy Records On Sri Lanka In The UN?


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