Removing Tamara Kunanayakam the Chairperson for the Intergouvernemental Working Group on the Right to Development of the Human Rights Council, from her position would be an embarrassment to Sri Lanka, when no reason is provided for her removal, say Professdor Rajiva Wijesingha and Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe.
Sending a letter to the members of the National Executive Council, they say the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pressing upon the Commission members to remove her from her position.”
We publish below the letter in full;
Letter to the President Maithripala Sirisena,
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
Hon. Prime Minister. Ranil Wickremesinghe
Leader of the Opposition.
Hon.N. Sambanthan,Leader of the Tamil National Alliance,
Hon. Anura Kumar Dissanyake, The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, (JVP)
Hon, Rauff Hakeem, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, (SLMC)
Hon. Disnesh Gunewardena, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (M.E.P)
Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara
Tamara Kunanayakam, former Ambassador to Cuba, the Holy See and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, is currently since 2011 the Chairperson for the Intergouvernemental Working Group on the Right to Development of the Human Rights Council.
We understand that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pressing upon the Commission members to remove her from her position. Tamara Kunanayakam, has served Sri Lanka in Cuba, the Holy See and Geneva, and has build significant goodwill and a reputation among its members particularly from the Non Aligned countries but also from the other blocs. The removal of her from the Working group at this late state, when the Commission is to begin its proceedings would be an embarrassment to Sri Lanka, when no reason is provided for her removal.
We, the undersigned request that the decision of the Ministry be reconsidered.
Professdor Rajiva Wijesingha
Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe
Sensible Citizen / April 30, 2015
Rajiva seems always bent on throwing hurdles into whatever the government is trying to do. He always has his own favourites. We have to get better people to important roles even if the incumbent is doing good. So far the government has done well in its foreign relations. Lets encourage them and support their actions to get the things done faster. If Rajiva doesn’t know what co-operation means then we as citizens should tell him what it is and ask him to mind his own business
sama / April 30, 2015
Rajiva behaves immaurtured. His politics cant work well though he could work as a good professor. Professors in general cant do good politics. Patience is very important in Politics. Just look at the way the man behaved in the beginning of the current cabinet – just because his buddy DJ -Mr Most Disgusting have personal grudges against RW, why should Rajiva too behaves like the illfated DJ ?
justice / April 30, 2015
In 1987, Tamara Kunanayakam, as an activist of World Christian Students Federation, severely criticised Sri Lanka’s human rights violations, at the UN Human Rights Council.
Later, after being appointed as a diplomat by Mahinda Rajapakse, she suddenly found his regime blameless with regard to human rights.
She was later appointed as Sri Lanka’s permanent representative at the UN in Geneva.
Later still, she was relieved of this post by the Lankan government.
Thus, she is an opportunistic career person.
burt / April 30, 2015
“is currently since 2011 the Chairperson for the Intergouvernemental Working Group on the Right to Development of the Human Rights Council.”
What has she achieved during the last four years in office?
True enough she has served in diplomatic postings as stated during a period that had no respect for human rights or human decency. The so called good will she has built is because “birds of the feather, flock together”, if you look at the countries individually you will see that they had no respect for democracy, human rights or human decency.
I think it would be good for the country to remove her and replace with a new face showing the world that the country has changed direction towards human rights, accountability and human decency.
simon / April 30, 2015
Her reputation stinks as much as yours.See what happens when dictators and thier spinless servants are removed.Thinks improve.
Tamara should be dacked so that she will have mire time to have dilectical discussious with like minded DJ who now needs company.You can join them as well.
jenn / April 30, 2015
Persons like Tamara and D J [Edited out]
. They used their positions to just better them selves up in terms of power and Money…..
All can see what D J is doing now …. He has become the mouth piece of M R
Tamara used her race as Tamil to garner her position as a minority in UN which she has openly said…but she is not Tamil from the north or East… but from the up Country….
They are all at one time lying scum bags in the foreign service an were doing the dirty work of the Dictatorial Regime.
eg. We can see what a racist D J is from his present utterance.
Mother Lanka will only prosper when all communities realise the truth and reconcile as one nation .
Racist politiciens such as Wimal , Wasu, and Diplomats such as DJ and Tamara [Edited out]
Gemunu Weeraya / April 30, 2015
REMOVING TAMARA AND APPOINTING A NEW PERSON IS AN ADVANTAGE FOR THE NEW GOVT. OF SRI LANKA. TAMARA WAS APPOINTED BY THE DEFEATED RAJAPAKSE GOVT. TO CARRY OUT HIS ORDERS.
Richard / April 30, 2015
I think it is Hon. R. Sambanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance, and not Hon. N. Sambanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance.
This government came promising inclusion for Tamils. But Hon.Sambanthan is being denied the Leader of the Opposition position because, it seems, he is a Tamil.
And now they cannot even get his name right. Prof. Wijesingha the Liberal should have done better.
Matilda Ellepola / April 30, 2015
I feel so sorry even to mention these names like Rajiva Wijesinghe and Dayan Jayatileka type of people here.
This man RW have mentioned elsewhere that Ranil Wickaremasinghe, who is his first cousin, to be reported to the Bribery commission comapring the Tissa Atthanayake case.
The issue with Tissa A was he was paid 300M for the crossover and that was during an election period which against the constitution as it was done by a contestant and its MR.
This man should be swept away from Sri Lankan politics in 3 wheeler parties together with Vaasidewa, Wimal, Aluthgamage etc. etc.,
Off The Wall / April 30, 2015
Good thinking. But what about the big stink you cause to Sri Lanka’s image by your repeated ascensions with much fanfare and the inevitable premature pull outs lamenting and wailing?
P / April 30, 2015
Tamara K is an embarrassment to the world. The world will be a better place if self-seekers like this woman who got positions from Mahinda Rajapakse are sent packing.
shankar / April 30, 2015
“The removal of her from the Working group at this late state, when the Commission is to begin its proceedings would be an embarrassment to Sri Lanka, when no reason is provided for her removal.”
wouldn’t the non removal of her be a bigger embarrassment for srilanka.
After all she defended the rajapakshes in the UN, who said there was zero civilian casualties because the troops had a gun in one hand and human rights charter in the other hand.
For example if a person had defended saddam hussein for gassing his own people,then can that person be a chairperson of a human rights council?
Go tamara go,go back to cuba where you belong and where your heart is.
Joseph De Vazz / April 30, 2015
Tamara should be sent to the Jail with MR. she accepted there was “0” casualties in the Genocidal war carried against the innocent Minority Tamils during the final war in Mullaitivu in which over 50,000 innocent Tamils been brutally butchered according to the UN reports.
Tamara should be called back and investigation should be taken against her for carrying the orders of the Mahinda Govt.
Moda Putha / April 30, 2015
The very fact this request is made by two self-serving opportunists is sufficient reason. Surprised that Dayan J has not joined you both. Both of you lack credibility. Rajeeva cannot hold a job and deliver, he can only lament about the system and continuously blow his own trumpet. Other than complain what has he done constructively? And Kumar R is known [Edited out]
Have you forgotten the embarrassment Tamara caused the govt by giving a statement to the press a few years ago on why she should not be removed from geneva? How many diplomats go public to complain about their own govt?
Don’t you know she was responsible for files on missing persons from Sri Lanka disappearing from the Human Rights Office in a Geneva when she was directly in charge of that section? Are you not aware she was very close to Mahinda R and whenever Mahinda (as an opposition MP) went to geneva to attend human rights meetings stayed with her?
Are you not aware that when Tamara worked for the World Council of churches (WCC) in geneva she attended a conference in Canada where she is said to have held banners and supported the Tigers..
Can you blame the govt of SL for not being comfortable with her?
In short all of you should back off and leave room for educated persons with honesty and integrity to lead the country.
srilal / April 30, 2015
Troika , DJ,Rajiva W and Tamara K are almost identical losers , they are good for nothing , can recommend for SIRASA (Boru) political talks only.
PS : who has drafted the above letter ? is that the level of English this so called Prof. of English had been teaching for his students all these years ?
dcn / April 30, 2015
Tamara K shoukd be replaced by someone more suitable who could work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her performance in Geneva cannot be classified as extraordinary.
Wera / April 30, 2015
Tamra K sure knows how to stir up trouble. She sang for her supper on behalf of the old goon who appointed her. She then went on the attack recently regarding the building contractors with LTTE links supposedly employed by Mrs Seneviratne in Geneva. The attack was followed by a law suite filed in court against the foreign minister. There are other meaningless law suites this character has filed regarding her personal affairs which are quite hilarious. So once again the professor buffoon has put his foot in his mouth. He just cannot help himself.
Nallasamy - Kotte / April 30, 2015
TAMARA KUNANAYAGAM IS A SELF APPOINTED HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AND APPOINTED BY MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE TO LOOK AFTER HIS CORRUPT REGIME INTERNATIONALY PAID FROM THE GOVT. TRASURY.
LEGAL ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AGAINST TAMARA.
Emil van der Poorten / April 30, 2015
In viewing this request one has only to consider the source(s)!
Waran / April 30, 2015
“Removing Tamara Kunanayakam Would Be An Embarrassment To Sri Lanka: Dr. Kumar R & Prof Rajiva W” She is an embarrassment to Srilankan’s. A non career Diplomat got to her position through her services that she rendered to Mahinda MARA during his visit to Geneva in 1988-1990 as a saviour of Human rights. Was he a Self appointed human right lawyer for JVP? However, Rajiva is no better he is still a servile to Mara.
As Emil van der Poorten say’s “In viewing this request one has only to consider the source(s)!” answer would be from MARA’S camp!
ruhunu puthra / April 30, 2015
May I have the privilege and honour expressing my view as with regard to the request Mangala Samaraweera has made to remove Tamara .
Ranil ,i know you are a gentleman ,only thing is you have only moved kings and queens ,has never got an opportunity to move with common masses ,that is not your fault ,the nature(god) did not want you to move out of colobo 7,(home,royal,UOC/LC back to home) .
listen to advise of your cousin ,mangala loves himself only,and chandrika also the same.do not spoil your name by removing tamara,(she is also child of god like you.
mangala has a hate with mahinda and Tamara. you are not like that.
ranil pl use your god given brane.
love all ,do not get into trap of mangala,
I being a man from matara who had the privilege to move with all at university of peredeniya as an engineer ,i know all these guys.
with love to all ,hate towards none.
burt / May 1, 2015
This has nothing to do with love and hate. A new face that cannot be tied to cover-ups of Rajapaksa govt crimes will better serve the country.
Kumar R. / May 1, 2015
(Just to be clear – this is a different Kumar R. than the signatory to the letter being discussed)
Officials should be kept or replaced depending on the confidence the admin has on the capability and willingness of the person to get the job done – not because it may or may not be an embarrassment to keep or replace the official.
So the proposition as presented is already dead on arrival! Learn to justify a request with material substantiation, not a nonsensical pleading, with conjectured threat.
Over to you, the other Kumar R. and to the English Prof who can’t spot grammatical errors such as “and has build significant goodwill and a reputation” even in what amounts to a 10-line, 2-paragraph letter that he pens! Did someone say he went to St. Thomas’ and that, in school’s hay-days?!
Kumar R. / May 1, 2015
When Sri Lankans removed MR from Presidency, it was an embarrassment for MR and his clan and cohorts.
It was not an embarrassment to the rest of the Sri Lankans, not glued to MR.
So, yes removing Tamara may be an embarrassment for her, for those who unquestioningly supported her, and perhaps those who leaned on her for favours. It will not be an embarrassment for the rest us!
sundara / May 2, 2015
tamara was orinally tamara/tamarai (?)gnanapandithan from badulla.she was the first up country tamil to reach such a level in the DPL service of sri lanka. others being mr.marimuthu and jeya perisundaram promoted by the CWC. there are at least 3 carrier dpls from the community and they are not well known. tamara gas played her role more than a normal sinhala dpl but could not sustain it because of her tamil origins.betrayal wont’ help always. even kathigamanr was denied the PM position. the JVP was supporting him. sampandhan cant’ think about the position of the leader of the opposition.so much for reconcilation.
Naga / May 3, 2015
Reading through all the previous comments I find that there is not a single comment supportive of the reasonable cause exposed by Rajiv and Kumar.
All these so called educated elite reading Colombo Telegraph and writing these comments have only looked at the personalities of Rajiv, Kumar and Tamara and not at the merits of their arguments. What a shame!
Sri Lanka should be proud to have one of its own citizen functioning as Chairperson-Rapporteur of an important UN Working Group. Instead Sri Lanka has become the only country to oppose Tamara functioning as the Working Group’s Chair person. What will other countries of the world think of Sri Lanka?
This government is trying to take revenge on all people even those remotely aligned with the former government of Mahinda Rajapakse.
Tamara has specialised on ‘Right to Development’ for the past 25 years and her experience as a specialist in this field which has evolved as one of the most important human rights for the peoploe of the third world countries.
Do these people who write these comments realize that the 16th session of the Working Group on the Right to Development was to consider an important document that Tamara was asked by the Human Rights Council to prepare, with proposals for improving its effectiveness and efficiency?
Tamara has said that due to opposition from some of the Western countries, particularly the United States, which was the only country voting against the Declaration, the international community has not been able to implement this human right. Tamara laments that the decision to defer the 16th session means that the Third World countries that includes Sri Lanka are losing two whole years during which the Working Group will be unable to act or contribute. According to Tamara “these two years are vital years, because the UN will be deciding on its actions for the next decade on issues that will determine the future of humanity – the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Third International Conference on Financing for Development.” (read Tamara’s interviw at http://www.sundaytimes.lk/150503/columns/is-mangala-getting-aligned-at-the-expense-of-the-non-aligned-147586.html)
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister failed to attend the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference of which Sri Lanka was an architect. Now he has thrown the spanners at the work of another important UN Working Group formed to fight for the right to development of Third World countries by causing the postponement of its important sessions because of his opposition to the appointment of Tamara as its Chairperson. No third world country other than Sri Lanka would have stooped to such a low level to deny its own citizen chairing an important UN Working Group.
gigurawa / May 4, 2015
Dear Dr Kumar R and Prof Rajeew W
We the citizens of Sri Lanka have mor important matters to focus on. You two have the luxury of finding time to appeal on behalf a nondescript employee of the foreign service. Prof Rajeew should now focus on his immediate self-serving task of leaving the sinking political ship. It has come to a point that no one takes this man seriously