The Foreign Minister has come under increasing pressure to initiate an investigation into Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Dayan Jayatilleka following the JVP’s revelation in Parliament yesterday on his overt political campaigning.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has pussyfooted around Jayatilleka’s appointment thus far due to the latter’s connections with President Maithripala Sirisena. It was based on Sirisena recommendation that the Foreign Ministry nominated Jayatilleka to the position of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Russia.
JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnaike, speaking in Parliament yesterday, explained the questions that were raised by members of the parliamentary committee on high posts when Jayatilleka’s name was presented to the committee.
When his name was presented, some raised questions whether it was correct to appoint a person such as him as an Ambassador.
The Committee discussed whether he could fulfil his duties as a diplomat without causing a conflict of interest , especially due to his political involvements.”
At that point, Ratnaike said, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya advised Dr. Jayatilleka to strictly adhere to the agreement with the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Despite this initial assurance, the JVP Parliamentarian said Jayatilleke had acted in a “politically compromising manner”, particularly in the wake of the political crisis on October 26.
“Jayatilleka openly campaigned in support of the coup. A diplomat cannot behave in this manner and it amounts to a violation of Parliamentary privileges. The Committee on High Posts during its recent meeting, discussed this,” he added.
During the latest discussion on Jayatilleka, the majority of members of the parliamentary committee on high posts had stated that the Foreign Affairs Ministry must initiate an investigation into Jayatilleka’s conduct and present a report to the Speaker.
Colombo Telegraph exclusively revealed how Jayatilleka advised former President and “fake prime minister” Mahinda Rajapaksa on sustaining his government formed after a “constitutional coup”.
The document published by Colombo Telegraph was a printout of an email sent to Mahinda Rajapaksa by Jayatilleka through “comrade” Vasudewa Nanayakkara – a Parliamentarian of the UPFA. The email was titled “Urgent for PM Mahinda Rajapaksa via Comrade Vasu from Dayan.”
The email offered seven pieces of advice to Rajapaksa, in point form, to counter the pressure exerted by the Western countries against the constitutional coup engineered by the Rajapaksa-Sirisena alliance.
He opined that the statement issued by the US Department of State was a blatant interference in Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
Jayatilleka, despite being a diplomat actively in service, went to the extent of suggesting Dinesh Gunawardena become the Foreign Minister. The email crystalized that Jayatilleka, under the fake government, had become a highly privileged individual under the new government who could even suggest who his boss should be.
Meanwhile, Speaking in Parliament a short while ago, UPFA MP Vasudewa Nanayakkara defended Jayatilleka’s conduct saying neither Parliament nor the committee on high posts could take action again Jayatilleke.
The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia, Nanayakkara said, worked with the President’s blessings and was recommended to the position by the President.
Nanayakkara, however, did not make any reference to the email sent by Jayatilleke, through him, to “fake” Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa after Sirisena engineered a constitutional coup