Gunapala P. Malalasekera

U Thant was and is and always will be in humanity’s heart. Him to choose unanimously as Secretary-General was absolutely the right thing to do.

Gunapala P Malalasekera, who was the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, said: “A unanimous decision was arrived at to recommend to the General Assembly the nomination of His Excellency U Thant … for appointment as Acting Secretary-General of this organization. The decision was followed by universal acclaim. This was very largely due to the fact that the qualifications of His Excellency U Thant to the post for which he was nominated were never in doubt.”

Mr Malalasekera also told the world that the strength U Thant possessed was unlike the strength that others possess: “In an age where strength is often equated with the booming voice and the bouncing fist… U Thant displays a strength of a different kind, the strength of quiet dignity. He combines in himself in a remarkable way the strength of the strong man with that of the diplomat who believes in consultation with others.”