Tamara Lashes Out At Pillay
Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, in a letter has accused the UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the UN Human Rights Council of following the political agenda of the western world.
In a letter to Pillay, Kunanayakam has said, “your office played a significant role in triggering the adoption of the resolution on Sri Lanka contrary to the mandate granted to the High Commissioner and the Office by the General Assembly.”
Kunanayakam has also questioned the “impartiality, the objectivity and the non-selectivity of the work conducted by the staff of the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights (OCHR) and their respect for decisions of the Human Rights Council.”
The letter also exposes an email circulated by the Chief of the Asia Pacific Division of her Office, Rory Mungoven. His communications reveal the significant role played by the High Commissioner and her staff in the final adoption of the resolution.
Kunanayakam criticises Mungoven stating that “Mungoven does not have the right to cast aspersions or make negative remarks or draw negative implications from decisions taken by the United Nations organs or bodies.” Mungoven was previously posted in Sri Lanka as the Human Rights Advisor.
Kunanayakam concludes by calling for clarification on the developments that appear to be contrary to the mandates granted to the High Commissioner and her Office by General Assembly resolution 48/141.
Kunanayakam was earlier removed from her post as Permanent Representative to Geneva following Sri Lanka’s defeat at the 19th UNHRC session. She was to originally be sent back to Cuba, where she had served before taking up the post in Geneva.
However, in May Kunanayakam announced that she would not be accepting the new posting and would resign from the diplomatic service, citing a marked change in the international stance of Sri Lanka.
Kunanayakam is now to be replaced in Geneva by Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg and the EU. Sri Lanka’s deputy head of mission in Germany, P.M. Amza, will take up the post vacated by Aryasinha.
The Ministry of External Affairs was not available for comment on this letter. The OCHR was also not available for comment.