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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Sri Lanka on overseas public diplomacy rampage: Kumaratunga.

[b]Sri Lanka on overseas public diplomacy rampage: Kumaratunga appeals to international community at UN[/b]

Daya Gamage – News Analysis to Asian Tribune

[b] New York, N.Y. 16 September ( [/b]Sending her top advisor and head of the Peace Secretariat Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala on a week-long public diplomacy campaign in America’s capital, Washington, whose finger prints are often seen in many developments and trends worldwide, on a new crusade against Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebel outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a major speech at the United Nations on Thursday, September 15 wanted the World Body and the international community to take meaningful and effective action against Tamil Tiger activities overseas.

The approach the Government of Sri Lanka took for a very long time, which eventually proved a failure, was its heavy dependence on the Norwegian facilitators to contain the Tiger outfit, maintain the fragile Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) on float and appease the donor countries and the international community that the country is on the correct path in marginalizing the rebels to get them back to talks and win millions of dollars in development aid.

The most important policy plank, an effective overseas public diplomacy, was missing in Government of Sri Lanka’s agenda.

Now, on the heals of Jayantha Dhanapala, President Kumaratunga, in her address at the High Level Plenary Meeting of UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday finally realized the importance of overseas public diplomacy her foreign ministry neglected for a considerable long time to bring sense to world leaders, especially to western industrial nations, where the LTTE front organizations have found refuge to raise funds and lobby policy makers or those who influence policy makers using the host country laws and regulations to their benefit.

In fact the Kumaratunga administration, even at his late stage, has come to its senses in sending Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala to the United States on a new agenda to make cogent arguments about the Tiger outfit’s overseas activities that has stalled the peace process.

Until then, the Kumaratunga administration was blind to the reality, the reality that the LTTE was strategically using its overseas ‘cells, or call it the ‘front organizations’, to persuade human rights organizations and policy makers with distortions, misinterpretations and half truths about the Sri Lankan scene.

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