Tag Archives: diplomats

U.S. Withdrawal From UNESCO A Travesty — And, Yes, Personal To I.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here — along with my comments & highlights. From: state.gov.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO



I was an UNESCO brat. That is why it is personal. My adoptive father worked for UNESCO from September 1968 to c. 2013 — Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to UNESCO from 1985 to 1992. From 1992 till c. 2013 (or even later) he had honorary (I think) advisory roles with them. During the 18 years he worked for UNESCO itself he was based in Paris (2 terms), New Delhi & Bangkok. When he was Ambassador to UNESCO be was based in Paris and was also the Sri Lankan Ambassador to France.

So, I am no stranger to UNESCO. UNESCO put me through school. Whether that was right or wrong is another matter — BUT such ‘financial support for kids’ is pretty standard with most ‘international’ jobs because there is this belief that the kids have been uprooted from their home country (which is, of course, true).

Yes, I have seen BOTH the good and bad of UNESCO — and in my youth there have been times when I have railed against and ridiculed the extravagance and waste. Yes, ‘senior staff’, especially the diplomats (such as my adoptive father) led a good life, but that again is par for the course for all diplomats.

Yes, UNESCO has done good and the ‘Silk Road Program‘ (and I was actually there for the Sri Lanka chapter of that in 1980) and the World Heritage Sites are but SOME of the examples. No question that, by and large, developing countries get more benefits from UNESCO than the developed ones. But, that was the point of setting up UNESCO. To spread and share the largess.

All that said …

The U.S. has NOT been PAYING its member contribution to UNESCO since 2011 and now owes upwards of $600 MILLION!

That UNESCO did NOT kick-out the U.S. during that time is a disgrace to UNESCO.

I do NOT think that the U.S. or any other country should be able to PICK-AND-CHOSE their membership affiliations with UN Agencies.

It should be ONE-FOR-ALL, & ALL-FOR-ONE.

If the U.S. wants to be a part of the UN it also has to belong to UNESCO and pay its dues!

Anywho …

This is not going to happen till December 31, 2018 and that is a LONG WAY away. Much water will flow under all the bridges in the World prior to that.


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by Anura Guruge

1,200 U.S. Diplomats In Russia vs. 445 Russian Diplomats In USA.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and enjoy.


It took me a while, after I did my last post on the U.S. diplomats being expelled from Russia, to get some meaningful numbers as to the US diplomatic presence in Russia and vice versa.

The U.S.A. has a total of 1,200 ‘diplomats’ (including support staff) in their ‘mission’ in Russia.

Russia on the other hand has 445 ‘diplomats’ in their ‘mission’ to the US.

That is where Putin’s 755 number, for expulsion, comes in.

1,200 – 755 = 445.

He wants to balance the playing field. Kind of makes sense.

The question this BEGS is why don’t the Russians have more ‘diplomats’ in the US IF they permit 2.6x more in their country. It could actually be COST. Diplomats are expensive commodities — and I speak as the son of a career diplomat.

So, I thought this would help.


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by Anura Guruge


How Many Diplomats Does The U.S. Have In Russia, IF Putin Can Expel 755?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I am not sure about you, but I was flabbergasted when I read that Putin is threatening to expel 775 ‘diplomats’ out of Russia if the US goes ahead with its latest bill on sanctions.

IF Putin can expel 775 it has to mean that there are hundreds more that are not getting expelled since obviously he wants to maintain some US diplomatic presence in Russia.

775 just seems like a LOT when Obama only booted out 35 – 40 last December for their interference in the 2016 elections.

Big difference between 40 and 775.

For obvious security reasons it appears difficult to find numbers for the exact diplomatic presence in a given country. But, it is being claimed that there are around 1,250 U.S. diplomats and support staff in Russia. Wow. That seems like a lot. There is, as I show in the map above (which I created for you), one embassy and three consulates in Russia. Yes, it is possible that the Moscow embassy has 350-400 U.S. personnel, possibly more. That is without any local help they might hire as drivers, cleaners etc. though in the case of Russia there may be concerns about hiring any local help.


See July 31, 2017 UPDATE on numbers, on each side, here (click).


Just a sobering thought. 1,250 Americans, on government business, in Russia.

That begs the question as to how many Russian government employees are in the U.S. In addition to the Russian Embassy in D.C there are three consulates: in New York, San Francisco and Seattle.  So they mirror the U.S. set-up in Russia. Does this mean that there are ~1,250 Russian ‘diplomats’ in the U.S.? WOW.


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by Anura Guruge


The Eiffel Tower Was Open To The Public This Day, 127-Years Ago — March 31, 1889.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower


Click to access the OFFICIAL Eiffel Tower Website.


I have a long personal relationship with the Eiffel Tower given that I have spent a lot of time in Paris (or its suburbs).

I first visited Paris in 1967 on our way from Ceylon to Buffalo, New York.

I lived, full-time in Louveciennes, a town between Paris and Versailles, full-time, and attended the ‘English School of Paris‘ from August 1968 to September 1969.

Then, after a stint in New Delhi, my adoptive parents moved to Paris, full-time, as diplomats, from 1978 to 1992. I was living in Britain at the time and would visit at least 3 times a year, typically for at least a week at a time. My parents lived in two different apartments in Paris. Both had views of the Eiffel Tower. In one, I could lay in the guest bedroom bed and see the Tower. That was cool.

As of about 1984 my THING was to CLIMB the Tower. Yes, you were able to climb up to the 2nd floor observation deck and climb down. So, rather than taking the elevator I would climb. There were days when I would climb it twice. Climbing is fun because you really get to enjoy the scenery. I can’t remember the ‘deal’. I want to say that it was FREE to climb BUT I could be wrong there. Cost was not a factor in those days. Typically my mother insisted on paying for everything and my adoptive parents were rich.

You weren’t allowed to climb above the 2nd platform THOUGH there is, of course, stairs going ALL the way to the top. Gustave Eiffel had his office right at the top and would CLIMB to/from there multiple times a day.

Ahhh! The Eiffel Tower.


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by Anura Guruge