Sanaka Samarasinha, former head of the UN office in Belarus, is suspected of sexual harassment.
A reader told Euroradio that Samarasinha tried to establish an informal relationship with his relative when she was looking for a job at the UN in 2014.
At the time, the Belarusian was living in France, so there were problems with an offline interview. According to our source, Samarasinha suggested a way out — a meeting in Geneva. But it soon became clear that there was something wrong with the offer.
“She missed Belarus, something didn’t work out for her in France, so she was looking for a job in Belarus. She completed her studies in French and English and sent her CV to the appropriate agencies, such as the UN and the French Embassy. And after she sent her resume to the UN, this guy contacted her on LinkedIn.”
“As she told me, he didn’t seem to contact her because she sent a resume. It was just a coincidence. Maybe he was looking for girls who had graduated from the linguistic university. They started to talk and he gave her his phone number and offered to go to the telegram. It was a bit strange, but she was obviously hoping that it would work out with a job at the UN, so she agreed.
There he began to write that he would be in Geneva and Paris in a while, that it would be possible to meet, that he would arrange a hotel. When the hotel was mentioned, she understood that something was wrong.”
“Samarasinha made references with sexual overtones and advised to read the book Emergency Sex And Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell On Earth,” the interlocutor continues.
“It’s like the book was written by some UNO employee who lived in some backwater of the world and wrote that there wasn’t enough sex. He sort of brought it up. And at the time there was also an Ebola pandemic and he was pushing the fact that he was such a great guy, almost died when he went to Africa, and he sent him this book.
He wrote her on telegram and then deleted the messages. She said she didn’t know you could do that back then. And he said, “Here, look, what a cool feature,” and deleted messages where he was clearly hitting on her.
The woman didn’t agree to the meeting and continued to communicate with the UN through correspondence.
“After she formally wrote through LinkedIn, he stopped responding. He realised that nothing had worked. And ended the conversation with her.”
“Apparently she did not get the job. There was a feeling that she was not the first and not the last, and now the guy has been caught,” the interviewee concludes.
When the allegations against Samarasinha became public, it was noted that there had been similar episodes in Belarus, where a UN representative had harassed women, but the local staff had not dared to publish the facts.
Sanaka Samarasinha was the UN Resident Coordinator in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
SOURCE: EURO RADIO/PACNEWS