- The Washington Times - Monday, January 15, 2007

Mellow fellow

Hungary’s rock ‘n’ roll ambassador had a hurdy-gurdy weekend, as he hosted ‘60s pop legend Donovan and American cult film director David Lynch.

Ambassador Andras Simonyi, who plays lead guitar in his own diplomatic rock band, promotes popular and classical music and other forms of the arts to further the goals of his government. He has jammed with rock legends such as Tommy Ramone of the Ramones and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who played with the ‘70s bands Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers.

Donovan Philips Leitch, the Scottish singer-songwriter with hits such as “Mellow Yellow” and “Hurdy-Gurdy Man,” performed for a stellar Washington audience of diplomats and promoters of the arts. Guests included British Ambassador David Manning; Irish Ambassador Noel Fahey; John Bruton, the European Union’s ambassador; Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, a former U.S. ambassador to Finland and current chairwoman of the American Red Cross; and Michael Sonnenreich, former president of the Washington National Opera.

Mr. Lynch has directed films such as “Blue Velvet” and “Elephant Man” and the television series “Twin Peaks.”

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Nigeria, who meets administration officials and members of Congress to discuss the upcoming presidential election in his country.

• Sens. Gina Parody and Piedad Cordoba Ruiz of Colombia; Alicia Silva, senior adviserto Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon of Colombia; Chitralekha Yadav, deputy speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives; Sahana Pradhan of Nepal’s Inter-Party Women’s Caucus; Pravita Rana of Nepal’s Central Committee; Education Minister Grace Datiro and Betty Ogwaro of Sudan’s Western Equatoria state; Samia Sid Ahmed of Sudan’s National Assembly; Hawa Suliman Hussain of the government of Northern Darfur in Sudan; Ugandan Parliament members Anne Auru, Franca Judith Akello, Jane Akwero Odwong, Rose Wabwire Munyira Osmusolo, Betty Ocan Aol and Betty Ongom Amongi. They are part of a women’s group meeting administration officials and public policy analysts.


• U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


• Mike Rowse, Hong Kong’s director-general of investment promotion, and Wang Xiaochun, Hong Kong’s deputy director-general of the Shenzhen Bureau of Trade and Industry in China. They promote investment opportunities in a 10:30 a.m. press briefing at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

• Amat Al Alim Alsoswa, U.N. assistant secretary- general and assistant administrator of the U.N. Development Program. She participates in a panel discussion about Arab women at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


• Stockwell Day, Canada’s minister of public safety, who addresses the Hudson Institute on North American security.

• Allan Gotlieb, Canadian ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989. He discusses his new book, “The Washington Diaries,” at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

• Daniel Coronell, a Colombian journalist, and Gonzalo Marroquin, director of Prensa Libre daily in Guatemala. They discuss press freedom in Latin America at a congressional luncheon.

• Pei-Chia Lan, assistant professor of sociology at the National Taiwan University, who participates in a panel discussion about labor conditions in Asia sponsored by George Washington University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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