Dr.Coomaraswamy touches upon human problems
UN Under Secretary-General Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy – the newly appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict – gives her first exclusive interview in Sri Lanka to LMD.
The current edition of business magazine LMD breaks new ground in an exclusive interview with the special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy. In her first exclusive interview in Sri Lanka, Coomaraswamy talks about the status of women and children, human-rights violations, war and peace. Described as "a woman with immense lobbying power", she is at the zenith of her career. As LMD’s July issue – out now – states, she has "championed the causes of women and children all her adult life".
Elaborating on the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, Coomaraswamy expresses strong views on how the country could achieve a lasting peace. "I believe the solution for Sri Lanka is the Oslo formulation – a federal solution within a united Sri Lanka. However, we have to persuade the Sinhalese people that this will be in their interest and will not lead to secession. We also have to persuade the Tamils that the powers devolved will be meaningful and that they will have a right to determine matters in areas where they are a majority. In the meantime, we must not forget the Muslims. Their right to participation and protection must also be part of any structure set up for the solution of the ethnic conflict," she elaborates.
The pro-LTTE lobby seems to question any Tamil intellectual who doesn’t toe the LTTE line, it has been observed. LMD asks Coomaraswamy if she feels victimised by this. "They have never threatened me personally, only criticised me extensively," she responds.
"The LTTE must transform and accept the value of dissent and the freedom of holding contrary opinions. But as for me, at the moment, I see myself as an international civil servant – and that identity supersedes both my Tamil and Sri Lankan identities when it comes to a discussion of political issues." -Island