SL embarrassed by Kadirgamar's Commonwealth defeat

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 17:59 GMT]
Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the former foreign minister of Sri Lanka who broke the Commonwealth tradition to challenge the incumbent Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Don McKinnon, was defeated in a ballot last week, with only 11 of the 52 nations voting for him, despite initial claims in the Sri Lankan and Indian Press that he would pose a spirited challenge.

Mr. Kadirgamar said in an interview to the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka that he agreed to become a candidate after hearing of “considerable African discontent” with Mr. McKinnon.

In the interview, he said that 12 African nations had supported his candidacy, implying that some of these African nations in the end did not vote for him.

Saying that, “deals are often done in international affairs between countries on a bilateral basis, [and] what we do know is that much of the support that was promised did not ultimately materialize," Kadirgamar believes that India, Bangladesh, Maldives, and seven African nations supported his candidacy along with Sri Lanka.

As the ballot was secret, which nations voted for Kadirgamar is not known.

However, international press reports, quoting Indian diplomatic sources, said that electing Kadirgamar, who was regarded as the candidate promoted by the African nations as these nations were unhappy over McKinnon’s role in excluding Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth’s annual summit, would have led to Zimbabwe's reentry, and that, in turn, would have led to reinstating Pakistan.

Therefore, the reports said, India had in private looked at Kadirgamar’s candidacy unfavorably and might in fact not have voted for him.

Pakistan has been suspended from the Commonwealth since the military coup in 1999 by Pervez Musharraf, who is now President.

The defeat was seen by many diplomats as an embarrassment to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who promoted Kadirgamar’s candidacy, and already faces international criticism over the taking over of three ministries from the United National Front government, thus setting back the peace process, the press reports said.

Mr. Kadirgamar, who never contested a general election in Sri Lanka but was appointed as the foreign minister by his confidante, President Kumaratunga, was accused by several Tamil groups, including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which has several elected MPs from the North East, of being involved in his government’s cover up of human rights abuses and misrepresenting and underplaying humanitarian disasters during the war in the North East that the then government called “War for Peace.”

In a statement last week, the TNA mentioned incidents in which Kadirgamar had misrepresented and denied human rights abuses of his government, raised questions about his "truthfulness" and "impartiality," and said that minorities had reasons to be concerned about his candidacy for the Commonwealth post.

Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Mozambique and South Africa are in a Commonwealth panel formed to study the Zimbabwe issue, and the panel is to make its recommendations on a compromise Monday, wire reports said.

 

Latest 15 Reports
12.07.20 10:04  
Sinhala Police OIC intimidates Tamil women for opposing monks-led heritage ‘task force’
11.07.20 03:40   Photo
CBK, Kadirgamar condemned at Navaali genocidal massacre remembrance event
10.07.20 00:05   Photo
SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna
09.07.20 09:33  
SL Navy brutally assaults Tamil fishers in Mullaith-theevu
08.07.20 16:33   Photo
Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee
07.07.20 19:36   Photo
Colombo schemes to expand ilmenite scooping into North from Pulmoaddai in East
06.07.20 19:06  
Colombo transfers Tamil Political Prisoners to notorious Anuradhapura prison
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=10642