Veteran Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala passed away today at the age of 85 while receiving treatment at the Kandy National Hospital.
He was the UN Under-Secretary-General for the Office for Disarmament Affairs from 1998-2003.
During his stellar career, Dhanapala has had diplomatic postings in London, Beijing, Washington DC, New Delhi and Geneva. He performed duties in ambassadorial appointments in Geneva accredited to the UN from 1984-1987 and in Washington DC from 1995-1997.
Dhanapala also served as a member of the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka from 2018-2020, the 11th President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
He has received many international awards and honorary doctorates, and has published five books and several articles in international journals and lectured widely.
Dhanapala also engaged pro-actively and innovatively in political, disarmament, economic, trade, human rights and cultural matters in both bilateral and multilateral contexts.