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Another Lankan in UN S-G race?

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A Sri Lanka-born British lawmaker claimed he had been nominated as the latest candidate to succeed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, but Fiji, the country that had reportedly backed him, distanced itself from his bid.

Niranjan Deva-Aditya, also known as Nirj Deva, announced on his Web site that he was now an official candidate and circulated a letter from Fiji’s Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola in support of his claim. He also has letters backing him from former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, and former Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.

Yet Deva appeared not to have met U.N. rules to obtain a formal nomination. The rules say that a member state must submit a candidate’s name to the U.N. Security Council.

Fiji’s U.N. mission insisted that it had not done so, and sent a letter to the Security Council president for September, Greece’s U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, to put that fact on the record.

‘’In as far as we are concerned, there is really no official nomination from  Fiji,’’ the country’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Filimone Kau told The Associated Press. ‘’We could support his candidacy but certainly Fiji has not nominated him.’’

Deva, raised in Britain, has dual Sri Lankan and British citizenship, and is a member of the Conservative Party serving in the European parliament. He has announced on his Web site that he wants to be secretary-general, posting his thoughts on international affairs and images of himself meeting with leading diplomats.

The news came a day after Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein announced his candidacy.

Annan’s second five-year term ends on Dec. 31 and most diplomats generally agree that the next secretary-general should come from Asia, part of a tradition to rotate between regions in awarding the job.

The five other candidates vying to succeed Annan are Jordan’s Zeid, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Public Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who is from India, former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala, a Sri Lankan, and Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai.

 

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