At last, obituary for G-15 headed by Lanka
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.