TNA questions Kadirgamar's competence for Commonwealth post

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 15:02 GMT]
Commenting on the reported candidacy of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka's former foreign minister and a confidante of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General, the Tamil National Alliance in a statement Thursday highlighted several grave human rights abuses of his government and said, "... Kadirgamar’s misrepresentations in regard to [such] incidents, which constituted a flagrant violation of human rights, are a severe indictment on his capacity to be impartial and truthful."

kadirgamar_lakshman_2-p.jpg “The person holding the position of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth should promote goodwill and harmony between peoples and between states and should have proven ability to promote reconciliation between parties in conflict...The credentials of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar to be the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, in this background, are highly questionable, and minority peoples have reason to be gravely concerned,” said the TNA.

The Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front Mr.R.Sampanthan,M.P., the Assistant Secretary of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Mr.Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam,M.P., the President of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, Mr.S. Adaikalanathan,M.P., and the Secretary General of the Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front, Mr.Suresh Premachchandran, M.P.,have signed the statement.

The full text of the statement of the Tamil National Alliance follows:-

"The people of Sri Lanka should normally welcome the election of a candidate nominated by Sri Lanka, to the post of secretary General of the Commonwealth.

Sri Lanka has been ridden with an internal conflict since the country attained independence and in the past two decades, the conflict has assumed serious proportions. Over a hundred thousand people have been killed and there has been much devastation and destruction. The Tamil people have in the main, been the victims. Sri Lanka has grievously suffered in consequence thereof.

The person holding the position of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth should promote goodwill and harmony between peoples and between states and should have proven ability to promote reconciliation between parties in conflict.

Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, M.P., former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, is said to be an aspirant to the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

An objective examination of the role of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar in regard to the internal conflict in Sri Lanka would clearly show that he has not been even-handed in his official conduct. Particular reference may be made to the following two incidents: - i) the bombing by Government forces of the Church at Navaly, Jaffna and ii) the bombing by Government forces of the school at Nagarkovil, Jaffna, resulting in the deaths of several hundreds of Tamil civilians including children

Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar’s representations on behalf of the Government about these incidents were contradictory to the position taken by international organizations. Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar’s misrepresentations in regard to incidents, which constituted a flagrant violation of human rights, are a severe indictment on his capacity to be impartial and truthful.

While vigorously espousing the case of the Sri Lankan Government, he has lacked the integrity and the courage to speak honestly about the root causes of the conflict, and the legitimate aspirations of the minority Tamil people.

In this regard, Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar’s performance has been dismal compared to that of several other personalities, who have taken an interest in the resolution of the conflict in Sri Lanka.

The credentials of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar to be the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, in this background, are highly questionable, and minority peoples have reason to be gravely concerned.

We consider it necessary that there should be public awareness of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar’s negative role in the resolution of the internal conflict in Sri Lanka," the statement concludes.

 

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