Despite the drama staged by Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella last week when questioned about Chris Nonis’ assault and subsequent resignation, he had been well aware of the saga all along as his daughter Chamithri Rambukwella had been present at the scene.
According to the Sunday Times political column, following are the officials who had attended the social gathering at the New Jersey residence of Dilan Ariyawansa (representative of Sri Lankan Airlines in New York) where Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK – Chris Nonis was assaulted by External Affairs Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena.
– Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs (EAM), Sajin de Vass
– Kshenuka Senewiratne, EAM Secretary,
– Thanuja Geethendra Usliyanage, Minister (Political) – Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC
– Chamithri Rambukwella
Nonis had been verbally abused and had been assaulted that night by Vass. Due to hearing difficulties that Nonis experienced after the assault, he had proceeded to a New York hospital to get himself examined.
However, Vass has rejected these claims and has maintained that he never assaulted Nonis.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that an infuriated President Rajapaksa instructed External Affairs Minister GL Peiris, to accept the resignation letter of Nonis on Friday while they were on tour to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope. Rajapaksa had been irritated with Nonis about him raising the slapping incident with Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, which led to Vass being prevented from meeting the Pope.
Colombo Telegraph was the first to report on Nonis being assaulted. President Rajapaksa attempted his level best to prevent the slapping incident form being reported in media. Upon his return to Colombo from New York, he took immediate steps to speak to all media institutions to ensure the incident was not reported. Despite his best efforts however, the story broke out in several websites but all of them have refrained from naming the assaulter as Vass.