Archive for the ‘Dhanapala’ Category

Dhanapala’s comments on race

October 1, 2006

Jayantha Dhanapala has made several comments on the race worth considering:

“Naturally, one is disappointed that the international community did not recognise my experience and qualifications, which were readily conceded by everybody,” Dhanapala told the Sunday Island, on his return to Sri Lanka. “It seems to me that decisions (at the Security Council) are more politics-based than merit-based… and I think analysing the politics of it must wait a while.”

“I am content that we conducted a very professional, dignified, ethics-based and low-budget campaign focusing on my merits as a candidate,” he added. “A withdrawal at this stage was the right thing to do at the right moment in the interest of securing a consensus around an Asian candidate, which has been our principled position from the beginning.”

Is that a point of contrast?

Dhanapala Withdraws: Now it is 6

September 29, 2006


Following the results of the third ‘straw poll’ in the election of the Secretary-General conducted by the members of the Security Council on Thursday 28 September 2006, the Government of Sri Lanka – with the total agreement of its candidate – has now decided not to further pursue the candidature of Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala in the interest of ensuring a consensus in electing an Asian candidate.

Sri Lankan leader suggests Dhanapala should drop out; Supports Deva

August 19, 2006

From an interview with the leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya, a Buddhist coalition party in the Sri Lankan’s government:

Q.: Moving onto a different matter, you may be knowing that Niranjan Deva-Aditya who is a member of the European Parliament is presenting himself as a contender for the UN Secretary General post after the failure of Jayantha Dhanapala to secure the necessary support of the Security Council. It is learnt that the JHU had earlier presented Deva-Aditya honours. Would you like the government to nominate him now?

A: The thing is Jayantha Dhanapala had come last in the Security Council vote. Also his age is against him as well. Niranjan Deva-Aditya has a better chance of going through. Niranjan Deva-Aditya is a good patriot and if the necessity arises the government should support him.

Like Sathirathai, the domestic press has totally lost support for Dhanapala. And now a leading coalition party is pushing Deva. Note Deva is a Catholic, not a Buddhist. Fireworks!

In Shashi’s SAJA Forum Skypecast (covered by UNSG here), he predicted that candidates (plural almost certainly meaning Dhanapala and Sathirathai) would drop out after the September straw polls. He predicted that other candidates wouldn’t have the support to enter. However, Deva has claimed to have the support of other countries.

Dhanapala says France and UK voted against him!

July 31, 2006

Dhanapala’s blog includes an account of his votes:

They said the five encouragements for Dr. Dhanapala were from China, Congo, Ghana, Qatar and Tanzania while those who gave a vote of discouragement were Argentina, Denmark, France, Greece, Slovakia and the UK — with Japan, Peru, Russia and US remaining neutral.

At the same time, there is speculation that the US voted “discouraging” against everyone.

Several other Sri Lankan articles have appeared that challenge the basis for his candidacy. Sri Lanka World reports that the straw poll was a “setback” and reported that:

Analysts said they believed Mr. Dhanapala`s age, a ripe 67 was two years past the UN retirement age and that probably was a reason for the disappointing result.

A South African paper has reported that:

Finally, Dhanapala’s chances were undermined by the fact that Sri Lanka’s new government is not enthusiastic about him.

Dhanapala says that the campaign will go on. We have trouble understanding this decision (along with the decision to republish an article indicating his vetoes). He got two vetoes. His government doesn’t like him. And even his domestic press seem to be turning on him.

His attempts to reach out to the US have been unsuccessful. His attempts at NAM appear to be unsuccessful. What does he want out of this at this point?

More on Straw Poll results

July 27, 2006 has a great summary of straw poll results. Several highlights:

Other expert observers suggested that Council members may have been generous with Ban Ki Moon because he is a sitting Foreign Minister as well as with Shashi Tharoor because he is a senior UN official. This perhaps contributed to harsher treatment of the other two candidates. Diplomatic politeness and sense of protocol would not carry high-level candidates past veto votes, however

We have argued that both Ban and Shashi are deeply flawed candidates, and further discussions may yet reveal this. UNSGSelection also said:

The most recent note from the President of the Security Council, Ambassador de la Sablière of France, implied that multiple straw polls could take place (as happened in December 1996). A South Korean official yesterday indicated that the Council would meet again about SG selection only after the sixty-first session of the General Assembly begins in September.

They also mention that no one is obligated to drop out, however, Dhanapala is a bit of a special case. He got 6 “discouraging” votes. He could have, at most, 6 “no” votes. Why would his 4 “no opinion” votes be inclined to flow towards him? And that is assuming that none of the 6 are P5 members. His candidacy is  dead and he needs to stop wasting the time of the Sri Lankan government. Perhaps he can go back to the Peace Secretariat and start fixing the problems that he left in his own country to run for UNSG.

Fallout from the Straw Poll

July 26, 2006

Well, the first straw poll has occurred. It has raised several questions and ended several questions. Let’s consider some:

Is the race over? Ban Ki-moon got 12 “encouraging” votes and one discouraging. We don’t know if that one was from Japan (highly likely) or from a P5 country. If Japan, the game is essentially over. It is unlikely that we will find a candidate with more support.

Will candidates drop out and more enter? There is a distinct possibility, which Bolton raised in his press briefing:

the various candidates consider what the votes were compared with what
they received there may now be decisions either for additional
candidates to enter the race or for one or more candidates in the race
to drop out.

But who? Sathirathai and ASEAN have been quite vocal that he will stay in the race. There has been little activity from Dhanapala. Either one of them dropping out raises the possibility of new candidates emerging. Indeed, one Australian article has characterized this as “Goh’s chance”, if only Sathirathai were to leave the race. Later, a Thai paper, reporting from the ASEAN Ministerial, reported that “The Singaporean government had informed the five permanent members of the Security Council that former prime minister Goh Chok Tong would not run for the post”. And Dhanapala’s leaving might just result in a Deva candidacy. Not to mention the other array of candidates.

What happens next? Dhanapala will regroup or drop out. Sathirathai will “campaign harder”. Ban and Shashi really have their work cut out for them. Because of Ban’s success on the first ballot, Shashi will need to resolve any of his structural problems. It is certainly possible to have a 13-2 versus 13-2 deadlock or somesuch, requiring other candidates to emerge. Finally, new information could emerge. We still have strong concerns about Ban, which may yet come to the fore.

The Debate on Deva and the Goh-Deva Strategy

July 21, 2006

There is a quite amusing debate emerging on the candidacy of Niranjan Deva-Aditya over at UNSG. Apparently one of Deva’s Sri Lankan supporters put up an over-enthusiastic website in Sri Lanka, getting some of the details wrong. UNSG pointed out some of these flaws. The Deva campaign clarified.

The interesting questions are, of course:

First, will Deva get nominated? The press release posted on UNSG seems to suggest that they think it is a real possibility. There was also a recent article in the gossip section of a British magazine lists specific countries who support him. What to make of this? Of course, without a formal nomination, from Sri Lanka or another country, it is impossible for him to be a candidate.

Second, Mr. Fleming, over at UNSG argues that there is a “long shot” way for Deva to emerge as a candidate:

“Deva does have one (long) shot. If the straw polls to be taken this month reveal low support for Dhanapala, …”

This is, of course, also the Goh strategy vis-a-vis ASEAN. It goes like this:

  1. The first straw poll happens. Sathirathai’s support is vanishingly small. (as our sources in New York indicate is the case)
  2. ASEAN tries to push Sathirathai out and submits Goh’s name. If that fails, supporters in other countries do this anyways.
  3. At this point, the debate is reconfigured and real compromise can take place.

For this to work for Deva, Dhanapala will have to fail on the first straw poll, which we fully expect. If Dhanapala is taken seriously a week from now, then Deva would have little basis for continuing.

The lesson here in these strategies is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It is our analysis that the Goh-Deva strategy is viable and that none of the 4 currently nominated candidates will have job on Secretary General on January 1st. But we could be proven wrong next week when the first straw poll happens.

Sathirathai Offers Dhanapala job to get out?

July 5, 2006

The (very conservative) Washington Times reports that Dhanapala has been offered a job to drop out by Sathirathai (if he were to win):

In recent months, Thai officials have said Mr. Surakiart had directed a foreign ministry official to approach Sri Lanka about withdrawing its candidate, Jayantha Dhanapala, from the race, and said Mr. Surakiart had offered Mr. Dhanapala any other job within the organization if he would step aside

Mr. Surakiart, who says he has the support of more than 100 nations, has vigorously denied the claims.

One is left to wonder who exactly is giving this to the Times. Both Dhanapala and Ban Ki-moon have tried to cozy up to US conservatives (Bolton?) by working with the Times. Surely it does not help Dhanapala to have rumors flying around about him dropping out.

Sri Lankan attacks Shashi

June 27, 2006

It had to begin. Most of the analysis of Shashi’s candidacy has started with the assumption that it entered into a void created by weak candidates. But now,a former Sri Lankan Assistant Foreign Secretary attacks Shashi’s candidacy in the press. We believe that this is the first time that a public figure of a country that is supporting one candidate is publicly attacking the candidacy of another.

We also note timing. Shashi is going to Gambia next week for the AU meeting. And Dhanapala was in Canada to meet with government officials there.

The article asks a series of interesting questions about the problems of an Indian candidacy, for example:

Further the Hindu – Muslims riots which have become an everyday feature in India in recent times will also not lend to Islamic countries supporting the Indian nominee. Then there is the unresolved Kashmir issue; a UN Observer Mission is stationed in Kashmir; what would Tharoor’s position be if a fifth war broke out between Pakistan and India over Kashmir?

But then the real viciousness begins. First that Sri Lanka’s pride was challenged by India’s non-endorsement:

When India did not declare its support for our candidate it was perceived here as another unfriendly act; I was under the impression that we not only shared history but also have common norms, shared values and interests and considering her frequent statements regarding the close relations that exist between our two countries, (”our two countries are inseparable, your territorial integrity and ours are one” etc) to have enthusiastically supported our eminent candidate as if he was their own candidate but now we realize that India had her own agenda and the close friendship they profess to is confined to mere words.

Then he goes on to suggest that Shashi should drop out and India should back Dhanapala:

If India wishes us and the world to accept her as an emerging super power and as the regional power then she should act like one

I do hope that India would test the waters and then gracefully withdraw her candidate if there is even the smallest possibility that he would not make it. She should save herself the embarrassment of rejection by the international community.India should then support Dhanapala as a consensus South Asian candidate or is this too much to expect?

Our sense is still that Dhanapala is a failed candidate, for reasons which we have described here. But interesting nonetheless. This campaign is really entering a new stage.

Dhanapala campaigns on Sri Lankan Peace in Canada

June 27, 2006

Dhanapala was campaigning earlier this week in Canada. He met with Foreign Ministry officials, and made a point of playing up his experience in the Peace Process, Canadian Press reports:

Canada has done the right thing by banning the Tamil Tigers and must follow up by making sure there is no more fundraising, a former Sri Lankan peace negotiator said yesterday.

“The financing must stop,” said Jayantha Dhanapala, the former secretary-general of the Sri Lankan peace process that negotiated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Dhanapala left his position as Secretary-General of the Peace Process to run for Secretary-General of the UN. We wonder whether the recent collapse of the peace process in Sri Lanka is going to negatively impact Dhanapala’s candidacy. The next paragraph is direct about the problems not yet being solved:

Yesterday morning, a suicide bomber in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo killed the deputy-chief of the Sri Lankan Army, Maj.-Gen. Parami Kulatunga.