Sri Lanka’s unsuccessful candidate for the post of UN Chief said yesterday his candidacy had in no way adversely affected the stature of Sri Lanka in the international arena.

“We can all rest content that, although we did not achieve our goal, we conducted a professional and ethical campaign with transparency, dignity and respect. This is neither the time nor the place to analyze the causes for the failure of my campaign,” Jayantha Dhanapala said in a statement.

He said the Sri Lankan government, in close consultation with him, announced his withdrawal from the contest in the interests of securing a consensus around the most likely Asian candidacy of South Korea’s Ban Ki-Moon.

“I accept the decision of the international community with all respect and humility. I have already congratulated Secretary-General-elect Ban Ki-Moon — whom I have known for some years — on his victory, wishing him a fruitful tenure of office leading the UN to an ampler fulfillment of the Charter in the achievement of international peace and security, human rights and economic and social development.

Consistent with my long-held convictions I am personally delighted that a career diplomat has been elected from an Asian country which is not a nuclear weapon state and is about the same size and population as the states that have previously provided Secretaries-General to the UN,” Mr. Dhanapala said.

He said he was grateful for the consistent support and strong canvassing for his candidature by the former President, the current President, former Foreign Ministers Lakshman Kadirgamar and Anura Bandaranaike and the present Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. -Daily Mirror

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