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Sir Shridath Surendranath "Sonny" Ramphal, OE, OM, GCMG, ONZ, AC, QC, FRSA (born 3 October 1928, New Amsterdam, British Guiana) served as the second Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975-1990. Ramphal previously served as the Foreign Minister of Guyana from 1972-1975. He was born in Guyana to an Indo-Guyanese family.

Ramphal was educated at King's College London and Harvard Law School.

He worked as the Chancellor of the University of Warwick from 1989 to 2002, the University of the West Indies until 2003 and also served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

During his time as Commonwealth Secretary-General, the United Kingdom represented by Margaret Thatcher was found to be in a minority of one on the issue of economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa.

Some analysts have criticized Ramphal's focus on South Africa and, in the late 1970s, white minority rule in Rhodesia, at a time when the majority of Commonwealth nations were either one-party states or military dictatorships. For example, Ramphal declined to make public comment in 1983 when Robert Mugabe began a program of genocide in south-west Zimbabwe.

He was made an Honorary Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in May 2006. He is a Vice-President of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Ramphal has two daughters, Susan and Amanda and two sons, Ian and Mark.

External links

The Ramphal Centre for Commonwealth Policy Studies Official website for the continuation of the work of Sir Shridath Ramphal: promoting good governance, economic development and social justice around the world.

Preceded by
Arnold Smith
Secretary-General for the Commonwealth
Succeeded by
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
Academic offices
Preceded by
Baron Scarman
Chancellor of the University of Warwick
Succeeded by
Nick Scheele

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