4 December, 2020

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Tamara Digs In Her Heels: Ministry And Political Appointees Still On Collision Course

By Colombo Telegraph

In an exacerbation of tension between the Ministry of External Affairs and politically appointed ambassadors and heads of mission, former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam has been refused travel reimbursement and other costs that would enable her to continue to function as a member of a UN committee even after she takes up her new appointment as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Havana, Colombo Telegraph exclusively learns. 

Tamara Kunanayakam

The Ministry of External Affairs has turned down a request by Kunanayakam, after she requested that the Ministry absorb her travel costs from Havana to Geneva to attend committee sessions even after she takes up her new post.

In May this year, Ambassador Kunanayakam was elected Chairperson/Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on the Right to Development and also served as Vice Chair representing the Asia Group of the Trade and Development Board (TDB) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It is unclear whether either of these are ex officio positions for Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

Colombo Telegraph learns that the Ministry has sought clarification in the matter from her successor Ambassador Ravinatha Ariyasinha who arrived in Geneva last Friday (20). Ariyasinha has recommended that Kunanayakam attend in her personal capacity but the Ministry has refused to meet her expenses towards that end.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources in Geneva said that Ambassador Ariyasinha is presently being provided accommodation in a Geneva hotel after Kunanayakam has decided to remain in her official residence until the conclusion of her leave on July 24. Ariyasinha’s family has stayed behind at his previous station, Brussels until the residence is vacated by his predecessor. A weekend newspaper in Colombo reported that Kunanayakam had failed to leave the residence keys behind for Ariyasinha forcing him to stay in a hotel in the city.

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Latest comments

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    After sharing her own room with MR when MR went to Geneva in ’88/89, how can she be dispensed just like that now. She may not be other’s cup of tea now, but MR must have definitely drunk off hers then. Tamara’s appointment itself is confirmation, although her need is not there now. Afterall it is more than twenty years ago and people grow old.

    • 0
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      Well done, Gamini & Donald. What gentlemen you both are.

      • 0
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        Now, now David Blacker, don’t get your panties in a twist to such an extent when your comprehension of English had failed you !!

        Read the again, few times to get a point !!

        Though admittedly with your two brain cells I can see how you missed that.

        Don’t be disheartened though, keep trying, you’ll reach your goal of being able to understand simple English someday :).

        • 0
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          While I’m not as familiar with wearing panties as you are, I look forward to your defense of the sexual innuendo used by the champions of human rights. You will be equal to many of the other apologists here :D

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          Hey, Dinuka (aka Realist), you seem in love with that turn of phrase :D I understand that actually composing a sentence must be tough work for you, but surely you don’t have to cut and paste it in response to everyone you have an issue with ;) :

          “Now now tastyjujubes, don’t get your panties in a twist to such an extent your comprehension fails. What I said in my comment (and I believe Shammi stated the same) is the issue that it was not sold to the highest bidder. Nowhere did I state that it shouldn’t have been sold, though admittedly with your two brain cells I can see how you missed that. Don’t be disheartened though, keep trying, you’ll reach your goal of being able to understand simple English someday :).” — http://indi.ca/2012/07/how-undervalued-is-the-new-hyatt/#comment-261690

          LMAO

  • 0
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    @Gamini. You mean Tamara is not needed nor her cup to drink tea.
    Anyway that was over 23 years ago.

    Now President has many cups to drink tea or any other juice/drink.

    • 0
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      Donald, I am not ‘Gamini’, but ‘gamini’. Two different individuals.

  • 0
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    Why can’t UN pay for her travel??? After all its UN business, isn’t it?

  • 0
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    what happened to all her big talk about her having ten years of UN experience and how going to Cuba is a demotion and what not. shameless woman.

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