20 October, 2020

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Foreign Ministry Confirms President’s Son Sought UK Visas

In a letter addressed to Colombo Telegraph, S. Rodrigo, Acting Director General – Public Communications confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did in fact intercede on behalf of Daham Sirisena, son of President Maithripala Sirisena, and three other persons to facilitate the obtaining of UK Visas.Daham Sirisena

Colombo Telegraph publishes below the full text of the response sent by Rodrigo to the Colombo Telegraph news story on Daham Sirisena’s UK Visa application, including his covering note:

Editor
Colombo Telegraph

Dear Mr. Kurukulasuriya,

Please find enclosed a letter from the Ministry addressed to you regarding an article that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph on 21 March 2016.

We would be grateful if the contents of the letter could be given the same prominence as the original. A copy of the text of the letter in Word is also attached.

Yours faithfully,

Satya Rodrigo
Actg. DG/PC
for S/FA

An article on your website regarding the application for visas submitted by Daham Sirisena and three others to visit the UK has been brought to the Foreign Ministry’s attention. Regrettably, the article contains a number of inaccuracies and distortions.

The actual facts are outlined below.

  • The passport of Daham Sirisena and three others was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1st March, 2016 requesting the Ministry’s assistance to obtain visas to visit the UK.
  • The Ministry issued a Third Person Note to the British High Commission to facilitate the issue of visas.
  • The relevant visa was issued to Daham Sirisena. However, due to insufficient information the remaining three applications were withdrawn.

At no point did the Secretary/Foreign Affairs nor the Chief of Protocol summon the Deputy High Commissioner of the UK Mission to the Ministry to lodge a protest regarding the issue of the relevant visas.

The Ministry is well aware that any decision on visa matters rests with the Mission concerned.

Editor’s Note: We thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for responding to our report and confirming all the main elements we have exposed.

Our report said that Daham Sirisena and his three friends (the Ministry simply calls them ‘others’) requested Ministry assistance to obtain visas to visit the United Kingdom. We challenge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reveal the names of the three friends who they describe as “others.”

We boldly reveal today that one applicant recommended by Daham Sirisena had earlier overstayed his visa and had been blacklisted. Another applicant was blacklisted for submitting fraudulent documents. Thus, in effect, the son of the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka was trying to smuggle into the UK two persons who have broken UK laws.

There are serious issues that arise from this situation. Is this an attempt by Daham Sirisena to smuggle fugitives? How can the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (more to the point, M.R. Hassen, the Chief of Protocol) accept the responsibility to obtain visas for those who are not entitled to diplomatic privileges? If this is allowed, theoretically even Wele Suda, the drug mafia boss, could persuade some influential persons to ask the MFA to issue a Third Party Letter to support an application for a UK visa.

As the MFA says the Ministry issued a Third Person Note. The only difference in our report is that we said it was a note from Hassen (on behalf of the Ministry) supporting the applications of law breakers.

We have checked on the MFA claim that Deputy High Commissioner (Laura Davies) was not summoned to the Ministry. We have confirmation from a source at the British High Commission that she was present at the MFA on March 17. There was no necessity to summon her, we were told, since she was there for a conference regarding the British Council. We say with full authority that Foreign Secretary Chitranganee Wagiswara sought Davies’ explanation regarding the non-issuance of visas for Daham Sirisena’s friends. This is when Davies bared all the embarrassing details which we revealed in our post.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is totally silent on what happened next. Why did President Maithripala Sirisena impose a news blackout on this incident? Is the partial response from the Foreign Ministry also a sinister attempt to embarrass him. After all, they have confirmed the main thrust of the Colombo Telegraph story. Why doesn’t the MFA release the three names?Is MFA trying to turn the spotlight on what Sirisena tried to blackout?

Related posts;

Exclusive: UK Strongly Snubs Sri Lanka Over Visa Requests For Daham Sirisena Whilst President Orders News Blackout

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Give him a dose of Mahinder Brand `leadership training` syrup.Three times a day preferably before meals. As the president`s son he is also elligible to become a Broiler Lawyer by entering the Law College through the back door or else to become an Officer and a Shareholder of the Navy.

  • 1
    2

    Venasa or Vanasa. Pathetic Yahapalanaya.

  • 4
    0

    Sri Lanka will never become a Yahapalanaya regime. Why President allow such things to happen. All politicians and the political appointees do the same thing.

    Shame on you President.

  • 2
    0

    I blame the government officials for this debacle. Why cannot they tell these brats that their demands are unjust, illegal and unethical and say sorry? High officials of the state, please show that you belong to the phylum vertebrata! We ushered in an era of good governance and you are given the licence to implement that. Mr (or Mrs) Public Servant, show that you are really a public servant and not the servant to spoiled brats thinking they have divine rights! Prove to us that you are really earning your salary and all the other benefits that the poor people of this country are paying you!

  • 6
    0

    CT reported an incident. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) responds. The only point they agree in common is that the MFA did issue a third person note (TPN) to ‘one Mr. Daham Sirisena’ who happens to be the son of the President to facilitate his travel to UK along with others.

    Other than for a state or quasi state official on an official trip DOES the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have the habbit of issuing a third person note for travel abroad to every Dick, Tom and Harry (to be precise Jack, Peter or Mack or in the vernacular “ජඃ පිට මක්” of the Polonnaruwa Bouvine clan)? We made the mistake of making a chap who is not that well groomed and looking like a piglet to be seated in the chairs meant for the delegation of Sri Lanka in the UN just because he is the son of the President. The MFA clan if they pretend to be that virtous should have told the father in the first place that the chairs are meant for the OFFICIAL DELEGATION OF SRI LANKA and not a rapscallion who switches off CCTV in hotels. Why the heck did not they have a mouth to say that if a TPN has to be issued to Mr. Daham Sirisena then the MFA must issue TPN for every citizen of this country otherwise they could be hauled for a fundamental rights issue? The Constitution of our country does not give a special status to the Son of a President. We decried such attempts by Mahinda Jarapassa and that is one of the reasons we voted against him.

    NO! NO! NO! the jokers in the MFA knows that the gift of appointing ambassadors lie entirely with the President and they want to be in the good books of the man to become appointed as Ambassadors which is the highest in the Foreign Service Echelons. Other officials of the MFA, if at all are governed by the Public Service Commission. The Cabinet and thereby the Prime Minster has very little to say in the case except in the appointment of Heads of Departments.

    Either the so called friends of Daham duped him to be used as a front end to gate crash the barriers of the UK border or Daham knew the story and aided and abetted his debarred friends to legitimately smuggle thenselves into UK

    SO SAD to find our hopes of Good Governance crumbling down in front of our eyes.

  • 3
    0

    Well said by CT and Uvindu. Good job done. What is wrong is wrong. I dont understand how these incompetent people run the countries ministry of foreign affairs in this manner. They should not involve in these affairs and must remember they have no authority on these issues. People have given a mandate to run the country properly without any black marks on the name. This is not new to our foreign ministry. This kind of things have done in the past , present and may be in future. I dont know what Mangala and Harsha is doing. Mangala was very efficient man in one point. Now I dont even see him doing good work at all. When he became the Foreign Minister he is trying to play a game.

  • 0
    0

    Ranjit Senewiratne

    Congratulations on publishing the story about President Sirisena’s pressure on media institutions and the publishers not to report about the attempt by Daham Sirisena to use his position via the Foreign Ministry to obtain visas to the UK for himself and three friends.

    While mainstream media institutions have succumbed to that pressure because their owners have other business interests and are trying to protect those interests, you have had the courage not only to publish this story but also the conduct of publishers who are vociferously speaking about the need for media freedom.

    It is a shame on President Sirisena who goes about preaching that schools should inculcate values that lead to good conduct while he has not taught his family members to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring disgrace to the high office of the president.

    What has Sirisena done about the disgraceful behaviour of his son at the Royal-Thomian cricket award ceremony who barged on to the stage when he was not an invitee and remained there until the end of the ceremony. What about his son-in-law who has been given a job in the Defence Ministry and one of those who attended the Enrique Iglesias concert that President Sirisena condemned as foreign trash.

    Why did President Sirisena want the visa story hushed up. Was it because he was aware-though he says he knew nothing about it- that the friends his son was trying to take to the UK had dubious records. Are these the type of persons the President’s son associates with.

    Sirisena talks a great deal about media freedom but as soon as his family is involved in questionable matters he forgets his own preaching.

    But he is glad to have reports published about the sons of the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    The public was duped into voting for Sirisena believing that he was a decent person. Recent months have proved that his public image of a religious, civilised and fair person is a veil he has used to cover his own frailties.

    Let the media publishers no longer plead for support for press freedom. They like Sirisena are not interested in the public’s right to know but only in protecting their own business interests. Shame on you the Newspaper Publishers Society. Go bury your disgusting faces in your news pages.

    Once again congratulations for being the only news site to take on the bogus advocate of media freedom. He is another Maru Sira. It is far better if his government calls itself Yaha Palayang Aanduwa.

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