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US for East European as UN Secy Gen

With this, SL's dream of seeing its candidate in the UN has suffered a setback, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 18:33 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

Sri Lanka's bid to get its candidate Jayantha Dhanapala elected as the Secretary General of the United Nations has suffered a set back with the United States indicating its preference for an East European.

Even as Dhanapala and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera were on a campaign tour of Europe, the US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said that it was the turn of East Europe to occupy the post.

"If there's really a principle of geographical rotation, fairness indicates that Eastern Europe gets it," Bolton told an American news magazine, according to the state-owned Daily News.

"Asia has already had a Secretary General. When does Eastern Europe get its turn?" Bolton asked in another newspaper interview.

Sri Lanka has been arguing that Kofi Annan from Africa, should be succeeded by a South Asian, as there has never been a Secretary General from South Asia.

U Thant was from Burma, which is part of South East Asia not South Asia, the Sri Lankans argue.

According to the Daily News the US seems to be favouring the former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. He had supported the US action in Iraq and sent 1,450 troops to that country.

The UN Secretary Generalship will be up for grabs at the end of this year.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 18:24 IST