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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Outsider might have inside track to lead U.N.

[b]Outsider might have inside track to lead U.N.[/b]

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

[b]Colombo, 20 February, ([/b] A leading newspaper in USA - Chicago Times believes that Sri Lankan born EU parliamentarian Niramjan Deva Adithya will seek USA’s assistance to obtain nominations for post of the UN Secretary General.

John O'Sullivan, a senior reporter of Chicago Times said that Kofi Annan recently entered his final year as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Annan is generally regarded as a man with good intentions. But his time at Turtle Bay in New York has been disappointing both for the world body and for its member-states.

Today, however, the United States is not alone in thinking the candidate cannot come from an organization that failed to detect the vast ''Oil for Food'' scandal.

If so, then among the candidates Kemal Dervis, a former Turkish finance minister would be ruled out, who was recently appointed to head the U.N. Development Program, and the Indian novelist, Shashi Tharoor, who heads the U.N.'s public relations bureaucracy. Both would be strong candidates in other circumstances -- Tharoor in particular has the eloquence to make the U.N. a real force in world affairs again -- but this is simply not their year.

That leaves two remaining major candidates from Asia: a senior diplomat from Sri Lanka, Jayantha Dhanapala, and the deputy prime minister of Thailand, Surakiart Sathirathai. Both have support from Asian countries -- 10 member-states of the ASEAN grouping declared for Surakiart recently. But neither looks very strong as a candidate: Dhanapala, in addition to being a U.N. insider like Tharoor and Dervis, would be 68 years old on taking up his post, and Surakiart has been damaged by stories in his country's press that a former Thai ambassador to Washington warned that he was a weak candidate whose candidacy would damage Thailand.

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