At last, obituary for G-15 headed by Lanka

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

The Group of 15 ( G- 15), an in­for­mal fo­rum chaired by Sri Lanka for the past seven years, plans to close shop by the end of the year. Cre­ated dur­ing the ninth Non- Aligned Sum­mit meet­ing in Bel­grade in 1989, it con­sisted of coun­tries from Asia, Africa and Latin Amer­ica.

Sri Lanka, which has held onto the ro­tat­ing chair since 2010, took over the chair­man­ship from Iran, and at a time when there was lack of in­ter­est on the part of other mem­bers to as­sume the chair of a fo­rum which had lit­tle or no po­lit­i­cal clout in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Sri Lanka took over de­spite strong reser­va­tions from For­eign Ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als in the min­istry. They ar­gued that it was an ail­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion. How­ever, Dayan Jay­atilleke who was Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Geneva at the time, For­eign Sec­re­tary Palitha Ko­hona and For­eign Min­is­ter Ro­hitha Bo­gol­lagama were ac­tive sup­port­ers of tak­ing over the G- 15 chair over­rul­ing For­eign Ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als.

The Dayan- Ko­hona- Bo­gol­lagama tri­umvi­rate were keen to im­press Pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japaksa of a chair­man­ship of an in­ter­na­tional body, ir­re­spec­tive of the fact that it was in the throes of death. That long out­stand­ing obituary has now ar­rived.

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