BY R. K. RADHAKRISHNAN / The Hindu –
At the end of a short-lived war waged through the media by a few diplomats, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said that it had transferred its Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, and appointed “team player” Ravinatha Aryasinha as the new Ambassador.
Mr. Aryasinha, is now the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union. Ms. Kunanayakam, a Tamil, has been posted to Cuba.
The media war began soon after the U.N. Human Rights Council passed in March a resolution calling on Sri Lanka to investigate alleged human rights violations.
Ms. Kunanayakam told the media that her transfer may get misinterpreted. Insiders in the Ministry say that this had infuriated the Foreign Minister, G.L.Peiris. The issue was discussed at the highest level before Prof.Peiris sent in the letter, transferring her back to Cuba.
One official close to the developments said that Sri Lanka needed a team player in Geneva. “When you are a public servant you cannot launch a media campaign for your post. Diplomats have to be put in place. They have to follow what the government says,” said the official.
The move is expected to create new tensions between the government and the Tamil diaspora.