On Tuesday (21st February 2012) evening, Madame Louise Fréchette, Chair of the Senior Advisory Group to consider rates of reimbursement to troop-contributing countries (SAG) asked Ambassador Maj. General Shavendra Silva, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, who is the representative of the Asia Pacific Group in the SAG to meet her. She had brusquely informed him that she will not let him enter the room where the discussions of the SAG were being held and will have him removed from the room, should he insist on coming into the room. She, of course, could not carry out this threat. Ambassador Silva participated in the meetings. Previously, he participated in the initial meetings of the SAG held on 19 and 20 January 2012.
The approach of Madame Fréchette, who was once a very senior officer of this Organization was outrageous and high handed given that the United Nations is an Organization of Member-States governed by hallowed rules, regulations and etiquette. To make matters worse, she has actually said, “You may have been nominated by the Asia Pacific Group, but I will decide whether you participate or not”. Such an intolerant and superior attitude is fundamentally unacceptable in an organization which is representative of the entire international community. She was also observed trying to convince other members of the SAG individually to exclude Ambassador Silva, an act totally inconsistent with her role as Chair.
Ambassador Maj. General Silva was appointed as a member of the SAG in accordance with GA resolution 65/289 and pursuant to the decision taken by the Asia Pacific Group after lengthy consideration. Accordingly, the Chair has no right to usurp authority to exclude Maj. General Silva from the SAG, contrary to the normal practice of the United Nations. Ambassador Silva has not been charged before any court of law by any credible authority and to seek to exclude him from a position in the UN is unfair and contrary to the principles of the United Nations- a public lynching without trial.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations23 February 2012