5 July, 2022

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Nepotism Bug Hits Foreign Ministry

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime’s policy of helping friends and family appears to have spread to the Foreign Ministry with career diplomats being overlooked in favour of loyalists and their kin.

Foreign Minister Managla Samaraweera

Foreign Minister Managla Samaraweera

Last week Lal Wickremetunge, brother of Lasantha Wickremetunge, the slain Editor of the Sunday Leader, was made Consul General in Sydney. Also, Manoj Warnapala, the son-in-law of Austin Fernando, advisor and confidante of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Governor of the Eastern Province, was appointed yesterday as a consul in Sri Lankan High Commission in UK. Warnapala is a UK citizen.

One of the main pillars of the Maithripala Sirisena campaign was to de-politicize the Foreign Service which was filled with children and relatives of cronies by the previous Rajapaksa administration. Colombo Telegraph understands that key individuals of the Sri Lanka expatriate community are upset by this decision. They argue that it amounts to a continuation of the much-criticized nepotism of the Rajapaksa Era. Some of them, who were very vocal in their support for Maithipala Sirisena, point out that career diploamats continue to be sidelined just like during the Rajapaksa years.

Neither Lal Wickrematunge nor Manoj Warnapala have ever held a diplomatic post before nor do either one of them have any career training or experience in the diplomatic service.

Related posts;

Nepotism Continues: Foreign Ministry Tight-Lipped About Sonali Samarasinghe’s ‘Political Appointment’

Sajin Appoints Rosy’s Daughter, 11 Others As CHOGM 70k Consultants

UNP MP Chandrani B’s Son Gets Diplomatic Posting

Will Mangala Recall Chandrani Bandara’s Son?

Mangala Releases Foreign Service Examination Results Buried By Rajapaksas

Full List: Over 50 ‘Rajapaksa Diplomats’ Recalled So Far

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Latest comments

  • 32
    2

    What a disgrace! To think we voted this government in sure they would function ethically and with principal. Sri Lanka will never change.

    • 31
      2

      Lalani Fernando

      We were told

      LTTE terrorism was the root cause of all problem in this island. Destroying LTTE was a priority.

      Then we were told Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cronies were seen as the root cause of all evil in this island. Hence needed a regime change.

      Now we are supposed to live in an era of good governance, it seems we have already started thinking of another regime change.

      Regime may change the culture seems to remain still.

      • 6
        1

        Native Vedda,

        “Regime may change the culture seems to remain still.”

        It takes a very long time to change fundamentals like culture thru education. If we start now the next generation might be better than we are. It is possible to achieve change like Singapore shows but I doubt that we have really started.

    • 3
      1

      There are a number of crony appointments from the Foreign Service too and some of them are are as follows:

      Sugeeshwara Gunaratne ,been appointed to London is a known acolyte of Palitha Kohonna,having carried his bags in return for unprecedented favours including special leave to live and work in Canada for his permanent Residence permit.See article in Lanka News Web.Gunaratne would be the first to run up to Sajin Vass and grab hold his cabin bag when ever he came to London.

      Aliyar Aziz, a lackey of the MR regime,who got posted as Ambassador to Austria on account of his faithfully carrying out Sajin’s instruction to do menial tasks.Alyar used to openly call Siranthi Rajapksas brother ” Sir” even though the man was his Deputy in Austria.

      Mrs. Maheshini Colonne Kariyawasam,survived right through as a lickspittle of the MR regime in association with Shenuka Seneviratne,now given a posting as Ambassador in Bangkok and Majitha Jayasinhe now posted as Deputy High Commissioner in Malaysia.Maheshini Kariyawasam nearly ended up in Temple Trees through her brother ,a Gota slave at the Defence Ministry, when PM discovered her roots and mediocre ability and stopped it.She is now trying hard to be next A mbassador in Geneva.

      A.L Ratnapala, alias hotu Albert, now occupies a senior Ministry position even though he was ” Sajin’s boy ” and got a luxury posting to Australia ,even though he cannot speak good English ,so that he could educate his 4 children free of charge. Then he was dumped by Sajin in Nigeria.

      Peer Amza, now is in Protocol Department.He openly worked for the MR regime and is to date the ONLY career diplomat to have come and worked in the Presidential Election in 2010. Later he was kicked by Sajin and now shows himself as an innocent victim,after having seved 10 years CONTINUOUSLY abroad.

      So not only political appointees but Ministry people who are benefitting,while very capable officers including senior officers are sidelined.

  • 17
    1

    Lal has never ever had any principals. So this is not surprising! What is sad though is the likes of Ranil and Mangala resorting to this kind of thing which we thought was now in the past!

  • 13
    0

    Perhaps the only qualification one needs now to join the diplomatic service is to first have been employed at The Sunday Leader!

    • 2
      3

      For 9 years from 2006, a billet in the armed forces was qualification enough for a position in the Foreign Service.

  • 11
    0

    A storm has just started brewing. It will gather speed and sweep across the Foreign Ministry. But don’t worry, it will soon be gone and all will be forgotten. That’s the way to go, Yahapalanaya.

  • 10
    1

    Thank you CT for exposing the professional theft and corruption of the “good governance” government. They were speaking about nepotism, family rule, rule of law etc. until they were voted to power. Now in the government these vocabularies have been used only during the media briefings. It was reported that the Prime Minister mentioning in Japan to the journalists that he is functioning without a foreign ministry. One could ask the PM how these two appoints will help to strengthen his foreign policy. What I understand from my friends is that in the Foreign service one have to undergo training and many other process to reach the counsellor and consul general posts. How these two have been elevated these posts immediately without any of the process of the carrier people have to undergo? Where is the rule of law? Where is the justice? How the people who voted can ask the government theses questions? And where can it be asked? Do they need to wait for another six year to vote? or else do we need urgently a Jeremy Corbyn who uses the PM question time to ask the PM the questions which he received from the public?

    This is just the beginning and where it is going to end?

  • 16
    3

    This man Austin Fernando is behind this operation. Shameless man. Once he tried to find a job for his daughter at London Tourism Office. Now his son in law with this job at the High Commission can rent out his own house in London and move to a house provided by the High Commission. If Neville de Silva can do it why not Wansapala.
    Next move will be that Austin Fernando will make his daughter as the head of the London Tourism office.
    It seems that people changed the Rajapakse government to find employment to the family of Austin Fernando.
    Good luck to transparency and good governance!

  • 6
    18

    Mangala Samaraweera has so far done a pretty decent job in winning over the goodwill of the West that was previously so pathetically lost. He should however know, that his team matters when continuing to make headway; and a team consists of the BEST players possible. One hopes he has sufficient sense to realize that it is futile to continue with the ignoble and idiotic practices of the past at such a crucial juncture as this. It would be a tremendous disappointment if lessons haven’t been learnt from the mistakes of the past where the foreign service was no more than an outstanding joke if not a seriously debilitating concern.

    That said, is CT simply raising an issue here, when there is none to raise? Are these people appointed, unworthy of such appointments? How do they compare with the choices made in the past?

    Playing watchdog is fine, but shouting “wolf” “wolf” all the time can make everyone tired and fatigued. CT must guard itself from not falling into the trap of being labeled as false alarmists over trivial issues.

    Unless an appointment is outlandishly unacceptable, what matters must surely be their performance, than the appointment itself. Besides, there could be many fine men OUTSIDE the foreign service, who are rather better at the job in question, than the career diplomats themselves! Think about that as well, as we shout ourselves hoarse from our respective rooftops.

    • 2
      1

      Comparisons should be made against some established standard not against past appoitments

  • 5
    5

    There is a precedent where non career diplomats can be appointed to diplomatic posting if they are suitable for the job and there is a need to put someone loyal to the government in power to fill the vacancy. Given the extent of political appointments where even potential war criminals were made embassadors merely to reward them for their criminal activities and thumb a finger at the international community by MR this is actually a non story. I am happy that some loyalists to the current government are finally being appointed. If you stick to the letter of the law after so much monumental law breaking which has lead to the complete disfunctioning of the system then you will end up shooting your self in the foot. This is because there are MR stooges actively sabotaging the current government within the foreign service itself.

  • 9
    2

    I am guilty of voting and supporting this gov into power myself. This gov thinks they have 5 years but by their very own actions they will make it much shorter for them to reign.

    I am in disbelief and in complete disappointment in the the way MS and RW are handling matters.

    Can we have a young , true leader to please stand -up. Anura Kumara may be its your turn now?

  • 8
    2

    This guy Austin Fernando is like a leech has no shame and has mastered the art of a… k…. perfectly. He may in his mid seventies or older but still hanging around in the public sector thereby preventing younger generation from obtaining valuable experience. He was the defence secretary under RW previous govt. He may getting two salaries by being the governor and also one of the advisors to MS. Probably MS would have advised him to mentor MS Jnr. as he was standing right next to MS Jnr. whilst the SL delegation was being introduced to the heads of other nations. Has RW offered any positions to Charitha Ratwatte?

  • 17
    0

    Under the Yahapalanaya too the cancer of family rule is spreading in many ways.

    The Minister of Tourism is 75 year old John Amaratunga of strong arm tactics repute. While he plays the bad cop, the good cop role is played by his ambitious son-in-law Dinesh Weerakody who actually runs the Ministry of Tourism for his father in law. ( while he is a director of many tourism oriented companies and hotels !)

    When the criminal Rajapakses were ruling the country Dinesh was cozy with the family even playing badminton with Namal at the army courts.The Rajapakses appointed Dinesh the Chairman of Commercial Bank through the government held shares in the Bank. But all the while Dinesh also acted as a “confidant” of Ranil Wickramasinghe ! Yes that is possible in Sri Lanka. Run with the hare and hunt with the hound !

    Dinesh is also a director of many public companies.He attends these board meetings and collects cool Rs 100,000 (+++)plus sandwiches and coffee at each meeting. One of these companies is the rogue company the Access Group. Why do you think Sumal Perera brought in Dinesh into Access when the Rajapakses were ruling ?

    In truth , Dinesh has a qualification in Human Resource Management. Maybe he knows how to manage humans like Sumal, Namal, Gotabaya etc.

    Now the old man John Amaratunga has appointed a so called Committee of Experts to advise him on tourism. They are all people who chaps like Dinesh like to rub shoulders with. Merryl J Fernando is a tea man who came in to boutique tourism recently. People like Gardiner, Cooray, Esufally are children of successful hoteliers. Inheriting a business does not make you an expert. But as our logic goes may be it is all in the family blood !

    These big businessmen have only vested interests.

    How the whole thing works can be gathered from the appointment of young Sanjiva Gardiner of Galle Face Hotel fame to this so called Committee of Experts. After the UNP won on January 08 this year, Gardiner brought in Dinesh Weerakkody , Ranil Wickramasinghe’s so called confidant, in to the Board of the Galle Face Hotel ! Now Minister John Amaratunga appoints Gardiner to guide Sri Lankan tourism !

    Not everybody is a fool in this country!

    • 2
      1

      While what you have said is true (and shows that you have a fairly good knowledge or connection of Dinesh Weerakkody’s inner dealings), I would stop short of framing this as a “cancer” in this particular instance only.

      For example. Weerakkody is a reasonably smart chap (for someone who started off as a journalist in a business magazine he has done fairly well for himself). He regularly consults for some of the top blue chips (one may say he has a foot in the door) but as far as I have seen the projects are useful and successful.

      Also, the names you have mentioned as having been brought on board are not in themselves a bad thing (you may argue that being the son of a successful businessman does not make you successful – I may counter that by saying this younger generation has a large resource to tap off of (the older generation) and also have generally had the privilege of a good education and some years work abroad). The pros may outweigh the cons in many of these cases (I agree, not in all).

      Far more dangerous is the general trend of running with the hare/hunting with the hounds (as well put by you) as well as the on-boarding of false prophets such as “doctor” Rohantha Athukorala (Whom the industry has finally realised is more in to self promotion than tourism promotion) and who is incapable of any original thought, instead parroting other people’s work and looking for a leg up in the hierarchy.

      I suppose we will never have the perfect balance.

  • 7
    0

    There is no difference between MS and MR.

    It is nepotism at its best. Cannot understand why these positions cannot be advertised.

    We Sri Lankans deserve it for voting these beggars to power.

    • 2
      0

      What a fantastic feeling when ardent UNPers are attacking the backstabber. Ranil is a principled man how much his principles are traitorous. On the other hand the famous backstabber has no principles what so ever that he helped UNP win while hanging onto UPFA leadership like a leech. He deserve to be attacked just like this.

  • 5
    0

    Hey Mr Mangala,

    Appoint Sajin Wass to the ministry. He is OL qualified(?) and has passed experience in the foreign ministry. He can beat-up the diplomats if needed. He just got out from the jail and live at home with MSD protection. Just appoint him as ambassador to UK becasue embassy is without an ambassador.

    Oh my god, when we can get our county back from these politicians and their goons.

  • 0
    0

    Five us education, training and career of these diplomats. Marketing, trade and advertisment traaining will help; Preuss contacts are needed in the center to counter tamil propoganda. Trrorist and suporters tend to merge.

  • 2
    1

    rajapakshe’s and their kith and kin have kapalla beepalla and jolly kerapalla.Now it is the turn of those who could not kaapalla beepalla jolly kerapalla all those years that raja was in power.Spot the idiot? taxpayer.

  • 1
    0

    Oh dear!

    The curse of nepotism must surely be a relatively recent genetic aberration in our national DNA.

    Aiyo Sirisena!

  • 5
    0

    Wansapala in addition to being the son in law of Austin Fernando is also a close buddy of Rajapksae regime. He and Indika Karunajeewa, who was private secretary to Namal baby were Law college batch mates and close friends. Wansapala is providing much needed protection to Karunajeewa for his corrupt activities.This post in London under Rajapakse regime was held by Indika Karunajeewa. He was sent to London with all the privileges to guide Namal baby in his studies in London. Wansapala having seen how Karunajeewa was enjoying the post with luxury, would have got the idea of getting this post for him some how.
    In Sri Lanka what matters is whom you know and not what experience or qualifications you have.
    Wansapala and Austin Fernando should understand that nothing is permanent and the same principle applies to those in power too. Sirisena is no second to Rajapakse when it comes to nepotism. He set an example by appointing his brother as the Chairman, SLT.
    So as usual we voters will bark from our throat against these Yahapalana actions but he the caravan will proceed with full vigor. That is Sri Lanka. These things will not change even if JVP comes to power. Can you fool all the people all the time. You can but for how long.

  • 2
    3

    Pisces

    “The curse of nepotism must surely be a relatively recent genetic aberration in our national DNA.”

    Not really, it started during the homeless one Anagarika Dharmapala’s time when he asserted that Sinhala/Buddhist Aryan Supremacism deserved to be reestablished, the politicians and the right wing morons took it literally to a dizzying height.

  • 4
    0

    Dammit! It was too much to expect. We hoped against hope that when we rid ourselves of the False Liberator and his collection of crooks, change would come. There were signs but old habits die hard, and we are now beginning to see the true colours of MS and his bunch. That old truism about Sri Lankan politicians has started to kick in: when you have the spoon in your hand, serve yourself well.

    • 7
      0

      Spring Koha

      “when you have the spoon in your hand, serve yourself well.”

      All because the good people, every time they vote they put their foot in their mouth.

      Then again they have limited choice.

      • 3
        0

        Native Vedda (for this is truly the One, and not an imposter)

        We are, sadly, limited in the choices we have. Our body politic has been chronically infected with the twin curses of nepotism and crony-ism, and any aspiring young person of principle will run a mile from this lot (or emigrate). When you look at some of the up-and-coming young politicians, you cannot but despair at the many sons (and daughters), mostly undeserving, that are waiting in the wings to keep the shitty show going.

        Unless we find, by some miracle, a saviour who will get us out of this spiral of hopelessness, we are doomed. Next time it would not be just a disgruntled ‘minority’, it will be the whole blooming country.

      • 2
        0

        Spring Koha

        Okay, okay.

        What exactly good people must do to get this country on its right path?

        Let us have some of your grandma’s wisdom.

  • 4
    1

    Nepotism ? Why bash Rajapakshes?
    Why do we continue to bash the Rajapakshes? Why ?? Why ???
    When those who promised so much change are performing worst within such a short period of time in power……..

    Just give Rajapakshes a break instead of pulling the wool over the eyes of the voter about their crimes or corruption.
    Very soon the Yahapalanaya will have nowhere to hide………Sira’s sarong too will come off at this rate…Hope he wears cool CK undies.

    No wonder Mr. KOOL wants to appoint his brother DHAMMIKA to a TOP post in the Ports Ministry…. NOW DISCREETELY THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG.
    Capatain KOOL & a delegation WILL BE PRESENT at a presentation by CHINA MERCHANTS in Hong Kong on Monday 19/x/2015 on further improvements and developments to the Colombo Port….WoW !!
    This is a multi million $$$ project. Mmmmmmmmmmm…………
    SO WILL BE IN CHARGE TO COLLECT COMMISSIONS?????? Whom can Mr. KOOL trust other than a sibbling.. So Dhammika is going to be a key player.

    Captain Kool will not want to soil his palms but he will use a Tong instead in the form of his Brother Dhammika. Kool will remain to be clean and the villain role will be undertaken by his brother Dhammika. It is a waste to let go of an opoortunity. Is’nt it ????????
    Probably, KOOL has learnt a lesson or two from the previous regime. Captain KOOL appears to be a fast learner.

    Moreover, SHAMELESSLY the Yahapalanaya has gone back to CHINA with the begging bowl for development.
    During election campaigns we heard so much China bashing, humiliating them to embarass & redicule whom ? China or MR ?
    Colombo PC Project innaugarated by H/E Xi Jing Ping the President of China put on hold with $ 380,000 in losses per day.
    To appease whom & for what did we do that??? The West and/or India ????

    West is certainly reaping the benefits of China & Chinese Investments.
    OUR PRESIDENT AND HIS GOSL POLITICCOS ARE CERTAINLY HAVE SHORT MEMORIES. wHERE TH MONEY IS yAHAPALANAYA APPEARS TO BE THERE.

  • 1
    0

    Lal Wickrematunge is the brother of the late Lasantha Wickrematunge and they both are the sons of late Harris Wickrematunge who was a senior UNPer and an Colombo MMC (representing Kotahena from Colombo North) and was also a one time Deputy Mayor. The boys grew up in a UNP atmosphere and were also smart. One (I don’t know which) joined the police as a sub inspector way back in the 70’s.
    This , certanly is a party politics appointment from RW side, sort of pay back an old collegue.

  • 2
    0

    Whatever happened to appointing career diplomats, officials trained to represent us, in this arena?

    Enough of every mother’s unqualified son being sent because someone is doing someone a favor.

  • 6
    1

    Shout all you want. Did Mangala S ever care when he was a powerful minister in Madam Chandirika’s cabinet? Shout all you want . Nothing will change only good thing is that CT will keep reporting it. His excellency has already blamed media and so has Hon. Ranil W for exposing their government. SHOUT but nothing changes.

    • 5
      0

      @Tassimo

      Correct; He was another Good Time Charlie and splurged public funds on himself with gay abandon. Remember a news item when he was Minister under Chaur Ragini, he installed a special lift in his ministry at govt expense just to enable his mother to visit him whenever she wished to visit him in his office.

  • 4
    0

    We have a buffoon as the president and imbeciles to carry out his instructions in propagating corrupt practices.

  • 6
    0

    Like many in this forum say we can shout as much as we want but nothing would change. We continued to get cheated… CBK, MR, RW-MS…
    OMG thanks CT for exposing shady people like captain “Kukul and wife Hora” cool, Dinesh W., John A., Austin Fernando. Won’t these guys have no shame. This is becoming really frustating.

  • 2
    0

    Big deal fellows; this is expected from any political party coming to power in Sri Lanka; one of the most corrupt nations. Which has officially made its policy of introduction of corruption into the mindset of people. Leaders are corrupt, they have designed and developed a corrupt administrative, judiciary, education, economic, parliamentary systems to ensure that corruption rules the nation forever. Bloody foolish majority have already endorsed this meticulously planned scheme because they themselves do not have any other alternative.

  • 3
    1

    Nepotism Bug Hits Foreign Ministry:

    *** I am not sure who the author of this report is but whoever it is the message is Unfair as it is aimed at the GOSL headed by MS. Although I dont see eye to eye with MS on many issues I will come to his rescue and my reasons which are as follows.

    1) I dont know why the picture of Mangala and what it is supposed to convey. Whatever it is what Mangala is saying is that Chidren ( Sri Lankan electorate ) should be HEARD( Hand to his ear ) not SEEN ( Eyes closed).

    2) I know prior to the Election MS was struggling to enforce his authority beacuse of the opposition he faced from Mahinthas Cronies.
    3) Post election he was given the mandate and he had to purge those who were in the way and if that meant putting those who were close to him and could be trusted to deliver his promise there is nothing wrong with it as long as it was not for personal benefit.

    Therefore I give a guarded welcome hoping it is a short term measure and dosent become Habitual.

  • 1
    2

    I am very very happy that I saw through the propaganda of Yahapalanaya and did not vote for this bogus thing.

    Poor voters again. Government 64. Voters 0.

    At least MR and R. Premadasa developed the country, and look what happened to them.

  • 6
    0

    MY3 started this with the appointment of his brother. Now even a junior politician like Arjuna Ranatunga is also appointing his brother in an important position in his ministry, MY3 cannot say anything because he started it.What yahapalanaya nonsense. When are they going to start corruption or have they already started. I am sure it will take only few more months for people to say that MR was better. Other than for financial corruption MR was actually better than MY3.

    • 2
      0

      Sirisenas (President) brother has demanded a salary of 10 million/month says news. Is this true. Last we heard that he demanded 900,000.00 as his salary. If this is true we will have to demand that the president resigns. Recently Ven.Sobitha Thero met some body in the hospital he has said donot stay in this country it will never improve, may be he implied these type of activities cannot be corrected. There is an urgent need for academics and professionals to get together an make sure these rogues are kept under check and ensure the hard won freedom and yahapalanaya project is maintained. Ladies and gentleman white vans may reappear to keep the country intact.

  • 1
    0

    Come on! appointing Lal Wickramathunga isn’t Nepotism. The Lasantha case cannot be taken forward because unlike the Eknaligoda case there is said to be a man with 5 stars in the end of the blood trail. So as a compensation his wife had to be sent as an envoy of UN. Now to silence the brother he has to be sent to another mission.

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