24 October, 2017

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

Sonali Samarasinghe, widow of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the slain Editor of the Sunday Leader, has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s ‘Minister Counsellor’ at the country’s mission in the UN Headquarters, New York, it has been reported in a website that is reputed to be run by persons politically aligned with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. The website claimed that the appointment was approved by Cabinet on Wednesday the 22nd of April.

Sonali Smarasinghe

Sonali Smarasinghe

Samarasinghe earlier secured a diplomatic posting in the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia. This was in the 2001-2004 UNP Government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe. She was and is not a career diplomat.

The appointment comes in the wake of the Ministry recalling all ‘politically appointed’ diplomats following Maithripala Sirisena winning the Presidential Election on the 8th of January 2015.

Earlier this month Minster Mangala Samaraweera released the results of the long-delayed foreign service examinations.“This will enable the many vacancies currently in the foreign service to be filled through a transparent, professional and meritocratic process.” a foreign ministry official told Colombo Telegraph.

“The self-serving Rajapaksa regime not only posted political appointees to as ambassadors abroad, they also staffed the second and third tier of missions with their cronies. These incompetent individuals shamed Sri Lanka on the world state – even using embassies for illegal business activities,” she further said.

Colombo Telegraph emailed the Foreign Ministry requesting confirmation of the report and seeking clarification regarding Samarasinghe’s credentials and whether or not they warrant such an appointment, especially in the context of stated policy abhorring political appointments. Colombo Telegraph specifically asked the Ministry to respond to the following questions: “What is the position given to Sonali Samarasinghe? On what ground she was given that diplomatic post? Is it a political appointment or not?”

The Ministry has not responded.

When Samarasinghe left the Sunday Leader and the country it was widely speculated that she was fleeing political persuasion following the murder of her husband. However she squashed such perceptions in an interview with Kristin Mansfield for www.theithacan.org in October 2012, stating that she didn’t run away but was ‘kicked out’ (of the newspaper). The chairman of the Sunday Leader was Lasantha’s brother Lal Wickrematunge.

Samarasinghe has also gone on record to state that her husband’s murder had nothing to do with journalism. She has revealed that Lasantha had worked with the intelligence service of a foreign country and hinted that it was this fact that led to him being killed.

Related posts;

The Politics Of The Decision To Kill Lasantha

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Latest comments

  • 12
    17

    With my background as a former Director of Overseas Administration, and later as Director -General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was also in charge of training new recruits to Foreign Service, I would like to make the following comments:

    There are two issues here.
    1)One is the appointment of a person from outside the career service to a post in a Mission abroad. Here too there are two possibilities; One is the absorption of a qualified person permanently into the Foreign Service. The other is to obtain the services on contract for a short duration like three years [the normal tour of duty now] at a given station.It is not clear as to which class the appointment under discussion falls into.

    2. the second issue is the rank to be given.In the case of recruitment from outside the career service, the rank to be given depends is normally determined on the qualifications, experience one possesses and also consideration of loss of employment earning, say when a practicing lawyer is appointed. (Rank titles one to be placed on a [higher salary point] with higher allowances, better residential accommodation appropriate to the rank etc. The former Govt of MR misused the conferment of rank by fixing many outside appointments at Minister-Counsellor level in order to give status and higher emouluments to family members and favourites. For example, a former clerical officer who served under me as Chief Clerk,whom I found incompetent to be Chief Clerk in Paris mission,(he told me that he got his Paris appointment becuse his relative who was a car importer was friendly with the then Foreign Minister, ACS.Hamid)was appointed as Minister-Counsellor in Brazil by MR govt.Perhaps, that was for all the dirty work he did for MR govt as Director of Overseas Administration like making appointments outside the approved scheme of recruitment, and i believe, also suppression of results of the competitive exam. It is the same officer who under the dispensation of Foreign Minister Kadiragamar earlier, blocked the admission of my youngest daughter to the Foreign Service whom the veteran diplomat Dr Vernon Mendis had called the most qualified person ever to seek admission to the service. She was at the time a practicing Attorney- at -Law with a First class pass, holder of a Diploma in Human Rights Law and Copy Rights Law conducted by Ceylon Law College –US Asia Pacific Programme coming first in the batch through the Asia –Pacific region, A Diploma in International Relations from Science –Po in Paris from which men like the former French President Jaques Chirac and other international worthies obtained their qualifications, Diploma in International Relations from BCIS, Colombo, Diploma from Bandaranaike Institute of Training for Diplomats and B.A. degree in English, International Relations and Journalism from Colombo University. She was disqualified from the exam on the ground that her University exam results came after the closing date of applications. She had already an offer from the Cambridge University for a LLM Course which she accepted when the University offerd her scholarship on her perfomance in Law.Since then she obtained her MBA in Finance from Monash University and Her Doctorate fro, Queensland Tech.University for her research on post-war reconciliation.

    I see no objection to persons with strong journalistic background being appointed to selected missions where such need for journalistic and public relations work exists. This applies to all govts including the present govt. This is an area where career officers are normally deficient. Under Mr SWRD Banadaranike, a Career Information Service was established as an appendage to service a few given missions. That too was in order to regularize a situation arising from a request by Ven Buddharakkhita, high Priest of Keleniya to appoint one of his favourites.
    Other countries too have such arrangements to recruit prominent journalists and that is outside career service.
    It would have been ideal if at least a show-piece scheme of recruitment was devised as M.Bandaraniake did but I believe the govt was in a hurry and selected Sonali for appointment through a Cabinet decision to deviate from the approved scheme. That is some thing that the former govt resorted to with impunity helped by an officer who was promoted from clerical service and given the high office of Director Overseas Administration under Lakshman Kadiragamar’s dispensation who was responsible for shutting the door for many qualified students including my daughter.Understandably, he was brought back from retirement by the MR govt and put in charge again to do all the dirty work for the MR govt. He has since been rewarded with yet another high appointment as Minister-Counsellor in Brazil long after retirement. (Has he also been recalled by the new govt?

    New recruits even from the list that former Foreign Ministry officials had suppressed earlier cannot be appointed to fill the vacancies in our missions which arose from a lack of a proper scheme of recruitment under the former govt and nepotism of appointing family members and favourites with no or least qualifications.It took over 10 years for me and my contemporaries to reach First Secretary Level and another several years to reach Counsellor Level. When I reached Minister Counsellor and later Minister level,[I was the first to hold these ranks] it took me nearly 20 years of service experience and passing E.B exams.

    From all accounts, Sonali as a journalist does not seem to be a bad appointment (others may disagree). ‘Yahapalanaya’ slogan need not be held against any deserving(?)appointments.

    Bandu de Silva

    • 7
      32

      Dear Bandula,

      Appreciate you not promoting your daughter even at this stage for a foreign posting while being sympathetic to Sonali. But I believe you should go and meet Mr. Samaraweera and he can be pretty understanding. I too contribute occasionally to CT as a columnist and should you not get a positive response from the Ministry of External Affairs, I am willing to take up the matter with Minister Samaraweera.

      You can reach me on muhammedfazl@msn.com

      Cheers.

      • 36
        11

        Fazl Muhammed ,
        and if CT takes over Ministry of External Affairs,(which is journalist ultimate dream) Lanka would be the true Islamic republic of Asia

        • 4
          19

          A crass reply, but one does not expect any more from BBS.

          What is wrong with a good idea coming from CT? Every idea gets hatched somewhere…

          Was there ANY meaningful foreign policy during the Rajapaksian times?

      • 2
        6

        Mr Fazi Mohd.
        Sir, this is a very magnanimous gesture,
        Talent needs recognition and in this case it appears that the well educated daughter of Mr.Bandu de Silva did not have the right connection,
        (in spite of being a top official in the FM) or was side stepped for reasons unknown.
        I hope this matter will come in for a review with your kindness.

      • 3
        1

        Fazl Mohammed

        Name dropping again .You obviously take yourself too seriously .

    • 8
      20

      I too feel this is a good move to have Sonali at the UN Mission in NY.

      Now, they must appoint Fredrica Jansz at the UN Mission in Geneva.

      They will be effective as Dilrukshi at the Bribery Commission.

      I can live with Yahapalanaya !!!

      • 1
        16

        Not a bad idea at all POINT OF VIEW.

        Both Sonali and Fredrica will be miles ahead of the idiots who were non career diplomats in the last 10 years.

        Those who criticize must reflect and see the caliber of those who were there before.

    • 5
      7

      Did this lass have any time to work?..

      Any way good on you for producing not one but three well educated daughters.

      We need more Sinhala people, especially Sinhala Buddhists to move up to the Elite class.

      With Yahapalanaya in place, the chances for that to happen are getting dimmer.

      And it will be virtually impossible if Ranil scores at the next election and the minorities and Samaraweera take full control.

      Hope Fazi Mohammed helps your daughter to get the gig, which she missed out on because of your cussed ex CC.

      BTW Do we still have clerks & , Chief Clerks sitting under Usha Fans ?.

    • 0
      0

      Mr Bandula
      please do not worry, from the independence of srilanka, true opportunities were not given properly. even Srimao made appointments from relatives. But this improved from JR ‘s times, he tried to select through exams. However it furthere improved during Premadasa period. He did 90 % well. however it went totally wrong in the MR period.

      This country never improve if all these malpractices stopped. We have seen two major uprising one JVP and LTTE. however govt never correct himself. Somany youngster who are most qualified not given chances to serve this country from all communities. therefore they started migrating and uprising.

      People of this country should take a good decision not from the communilism basis but as a country to select good people to rule this country. Now, MS seems verymuch qualified but others including Ranil (cunning) seemed not good to rule the country. Will people decide? …rightly or correctly, i have less hope

  • 3
    17

    this woman has the worst reputation in the country she is supposed to be[Edited out] amongst other things

  • 1
    9

    Greetings my fellow country people

    Bandula’s comments are very true and articale also points some questions, therefor our forign service should send a press release about the new apointment and the decition for the choice.

    I understand Mr. Bandula is disatisfied with some events in previous goverments but I beleave we should avoid details and names specialy when the person writing had leadership position in overses administration.

    I use this operchunity to share my experiance with overseas establishment, I was posted in forign country for five months from my original destination. I had to get a new passport due to lack of pages and this took more than 4 months., since my previous passport did not mention my qualification. The staff was also not familiar What kind of Documentation was needed. After several rounds the documentation was to translate my degree certificate by authorized translater, confirmed by forign affairs office in the country certificate was given and again confirmed by Sri Lankan mission in this country. The total cost for all these including DHL was around 1100 english pounds.
    There was no simple procedure to endorse the passport later. The staff who was working did the best the training from forign service in Colombo and english language skills were average …..

    My second example is in the media it was mentioned that Sri Lanka is Now giving dual nationality, including Norway. I was Happy that Now I could apply norwegian nationality and also apply dual nationality in Sri Lanka. Just before applying to Norwegian. Nationality when I was checking the Sri Lankan mission said Norway has sent written lettet that Norway would not approve dual nationality for Sri Lanka. I Wonder Why these information is not given in overseas web area or in press release?

    Now a second

  • 7
    7

    After reading all comments, those of Bandu De Silva appear most sensible, coming from a veteran in the foreign service, & having had his eminently qualified daughter not recruited.
    I admire his stand.
    Sonali’s personal travails with Lasantha appear to be being held against her, though she is qualified for the post.
    The cabinet would have been aware of her family and workplace problems,
    & qualifications, but approved the appointment.
    The 70/30 ratio justifies.

  • 6
    1

    What about poor Raine?

  • 12
    1

    One thing Ranil W’s govt lack is the ability to express itself. The JVP had Anura Kumar Dissnanayake, Tulin de Silva, Vijitha Herath and many others who can speak clearly, rationally and to the point.Good or Bad Mahinda Rajapakse also has the same ability. UNP has none.Based on that, this appointment is necessary. What is appalling is that the UNP has no Sinhala or tamil speakers who can speak to the masses, may be except Mangala.

    Mrs S.S’s appointment can be justified in the sense she will speak to the world’s press and can express herself well.Unlike the appointments of MR’s govt with that joker Prof peiris as the FM this is a good appointment.her value will be felt in the near future.

  • 3
    15

    Thank you Fazi.
    I am sorry I had to bring this personal experience relating to the rejection of my daughter into the discussion of this episode. I brought it up partly to point out that things had not been always right over the years in the Foreign Ministry even under Kadiragamar in respect of selection. Due to various factors including personal prejudices on the part of administrating officers, the deserving had been overlooked in the past.
    The same officers who were responsible later connived with the MR administration to ruin what was left of the foreign service.

    Concerning my daughter’s episode when I proposed to her to file a fundamental rights issue with Courts, (she was already practicing then with Eugene Balasuriya, P.C.and later appeared with Balasuriya for Kamal Addraarachvchi in the Appeal Court ), she prevented me. She said she would pursue her course at Cambridge and she completed it within nine months with a near first class while she was also engaged in sports representing Cambridge and British Universities in swimming and Karate. She was already a Black Belt when she left for U.K.[I believe Karate was also important for our diplomats to know if one remembers what happened to former High Commissioner in London, Chris Nonis]. This is while the person sent by the Foreign Office to Cambridge at the same time took over two years to complete her MA degree.

    Had I contacted Kadiragamar, who was my contemporary at University I am sure he would not have allowed material like my daughter being left out of selection but I did not. The only time I met Kadiragamar earlier after our University days when the then lady French Ambassador in Colombo introduced me and my [French speaking] daughter (an Alumna of Science-Po as much as of French schools earlier) as good friends of France, at the 50th Anniversary Dinner on the occasion of the France -Sri Lanka Diplomatic Relations.

    The other point I wish to make is that it was not simply my daughter’s case I was concerned with but a principle. That the Ministry decision to close applications just a few days before the Universities released final exam results was an injustice to several generations of students whose results were out a few days after the closing date. When I wrote to the Secretary I had representations from a number of parents/students who were affected by the insensitive decision by those in charge of administration who were all alien to the needs of a Foreign service. That should clarify Yogi’s comment.

    I have no personal interest in Sonali.I remember having met her a few times at her newspaper when it was a few doors next to my house.Our missions in US including the PRUN office need a strong team including ones who can promote public relations for which the former govt spent millions to a US PR firm while the Ambassador who was a Rajapaksa scion was promoting his family business and playing the role of “tour guide” for visiting US tour operators.
    Now that we have an eminent personality in Dr Rohan Perera to represent the country at UN, he needs the backing of an eminently professional staff to share the burden including PR work.
    Bandu de Silva

  • 3
    23

    Dear Bandu,

    I have campaigned for the ‘Yahapalanya’ at the highest possible levels…. and ‘Yahapalanaya’ is also about filling suitable positions with suitable personnel. I am meeting Minister Samaraweera on Wednesday the 29th April, and if you could email me her CV to muhammedfazl@msn.com, I will present the case on behalf of you.

    Cheers

  • 1
    15

    Dear Fazi,
    I have inadvertently omitted to answer the question you raised, whether or not you made it seriously or jokingly. My youngest daughter is a strong individual. Even as father I do not interfere with her decisions or act on her behalf unless asked.To illustrate a point, she phoned me from Paris when she was finishing her course at Science-Po and told me that she had decided to write her dissertation on the subject of “E/U’s Contribution to International terrorism” while all her colleagues were writing on E/U’s role in economics.I warned her that it might not be to the liking of her superiors and told her jokingly she might not get even a certificate of attendance and will have to come back like Chandrika with nothing!(a cousin of my who was doing his PhD at the time Chandrika was in Paris told me she did not even go near Science-Po). My daughter went ahead and got her graduateship diploma certificate. I admired her guts.saying ‘like father, like son’.

    I feel she she thinks she is now well settled in Brisbane with her husband who is a upcoming Barrister in the industrial field. She was teaching Law at the University of Queensland for a time but resigned to help her husband.I do not know if she has any interest in the Foreign Service now seeing with what material she, with her academic and professional excellence, may have to work with after the type of intake by MR’s administration. Personally, I would have like to see her around me here. I have lost her and the country too. That is to Australia’s gain.

    Even my eldest daughter told Jayantha Dhanapala when the latter asked her if she would like to join the Foreign Service which was deficient in foreign language speakers (she was a Science honours graduate and had her early education in France and spoke/wrote and later taught French in a US University and had a knowledge of Spanish and excellent knowledge of English which she learned by herself through rading while in Paris), she said :”Oh No.after seeing what my father went through I would never want it”.
    I have three daughters. All are very independent minded.That is my inheritance to them, perhaps more sharpened by their foreign exposure from childhood. I am very proud of them for that reason.

    Bandu de Silva

    • 9
      13

      going over board with cheap self publicity.. you both have emails to discuss personal matters than in a public forum…just saying…

      • 3
        14

        Did not realize, but I have to agree with Snowden. Please excuse…
        :)

    • 10
      0

      so what is his BS man? we are talking about Mrs. Samarasinghe and who cares about CBK and your daughters?

  • 4
    17

    Dear Bandu,

    Where I come from, I try changing the world even if it means touching the life of a single individual. Likewise, will move mountains when I see injustice. Let this comment of mine be a call for all qualified/competent people to make their applications to the Ministry of External Affairs.

    And as much we discuss individual achievements or discrepancies, let us all be part of the ‘Yahapalanya’ and make our voices heard where/when required for the greater good of the country.

    I am out.

  • 9
    7

    Few interesting exchanges here between the Yahapalanay architects and enforcers.

    Did Mr Fazi Mohammed edit LanakaeNews?.

    I wouldn’t piss on our FM even if he is on fire..

    Because I am ashamed to have him as a fellow Sinhalese from the South, who has done so much damage to the Sinhala Buddhists their monks and their culture purely because of personal jealousy and venomous desire for revenge against the SLFP .

    I can’t understand how the so called Elite of the UNP consider the FM as their own when this dude did so much damage to the UNP as well as its leader Ranil in particular, forcing him to the back benches for 20 years.

    But then Ranil would have been still warming the opposition leader’s seat if Samare and Chandrika didn’t organize the anti Sinhala Buddhist crusade with the help of the Diaspora Dollars. .

    This conversation typifies what this Yahapalanaya is all about.

    It is to turn the clock back to the sixties, when the Elite, Anglicans Vellas ruled over the great majority who were Sinhala Buddhists.

    Now even Wahabis have joined hands with the Elite, Anglicans and the Vellalas to board the next gravy train, proving the old saying about their Morrocan Hat.

    Wonder whether Fazi is a mate of Bathudeen too , who has delivered Yahapalanay in bucket loads to our poor rural the poor Sinhala Buddhists in the past?.

    • 1
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 5
      3

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “I wouldn’t piss on our FM even if he is on fire..”

      You wouldn’t mind pouring some petrol would you?

      “Because I am ashamed to have him as a fellow Sinhalese from the South, who has done so much damage to the Sinhala Buddhists their monks and their culture purely because of personal jealousy and venomous desire for revenge against the SLFP .”

      You don’t need others to damage Sinhala/Buddhists and their monks. They are capable and have been doing it alright in the past 100 years. You should advise them to save themselves from themselves. If they can’t then no one can.

      You should be ashamed of yourself betting for Sinhala/Buddhists and their monks.

  • 0
    8

    Thank you Mr Bandu de Silva. I learned something today from the conversations you and Fazl had. Even though it sounds like personal, it was interesting and shed some lights about our foreign service ‘Thamashas’ under various governments. You can be proud of bringing up wonderful daughters who achieved a lot in life. I’m happy for you too. Thank you Sir.

  • 0
    6

    Both wives are [Edited out] Lasantha deserved better

  • 3
    4

    We don’t have many career diplomats.

    Even Ravinatha Ariyasinghe was a news reader on Rupavahini and our key diplomat in Geneva.

  • 1
    3

    You should ask the Asian Human Rights Commission all about nepotism and cronyism, the directors wrote the book.

  • 0
    9

    There has been some discussion about my contribution on the appointments to the foreign service,both positive and poisonous.

    I have been shocked at the rate of indiscipline that has been manifest in many of our overseas missions in recent times. This is largely because of the political culture in the country which has infiltrated down to our missions. In my days as Director of Overseas Administration when I wielded much authority because I had the full backing of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Bandaranaike, who brought me down from Japan for that job, with instructions to help her build up a strong foreign service. I must say no one interfered with my decisions during that period in respect of recruitment to foreign service or overseas clerical service, not even the Deputy Minister Lakshman Jayakoddy, or any member of Mrs.Bandaranaike’s family.
    Finally, I was sent to France because she wanted to keep a check on her Ambassador, the appointment of whom done under pressure from her daughters she thought was a big mistake. It was a rather an embarrassing situation to keep a check on an old Professor with whom I had good rapport in the University earlier before his becoming a devotee of Bacchus, and on his amorous pursuits with his Secretary of the mission the whole day. That was the first time I had to meet that kind of embarrassing indiscipline, what the present President called “Mulahonda-neti-kama.”

    About the foreign service, despite my natural empathy with the career service, let me be frank both as a former career officer and administrator in charge of policy planning, administration of foreign service and missions abroad and later as a training person of new recruits in my senior capacity as the then senior most career officer in service and as Ambassador who observed the quality of both career and non- career officers in capacities like Third Secretary upwards to Counsellor level.

    Everything was not alright with our career foreign service. There was tendency for some of them to be very average if not below average. This was because once ensconced in office and security of employment assured, some did not want to advance by learning, reading and being exposed to debating /arguing. In contrast, in France, I was very impressed by the quality of some of the middle range African diplomats who were very articulate to the point of exuberance. The way they kept some Western diplomats at bay which contrasted with the performance of our younger diplomats working under me who could not even speak a sentence in English/French in proper syntax, not to speak of articulating themselves in debate.
    Here was no rigorous training imparted as I found training several batches of new recruits the last of which included Ravinath (present Perm Rep in Geneva who was a former TV journalist). I found even dislike and resistance when I tried to train them in doing research into major foreign policy issues (something in which I gained experience as a University teacher). Our Library was hopeless, the later Librarian’s only interest being to promote himself when there was a political change. The record room was in chaos. The former peon who was in charge was the only person keen to help me to maintain it. Some carrier officers were even responsible for throwing valuable records into bonfires!. So, there was nothing coming from those directions to help training.
    The scheme of open competitive exams in later days with raised age limit was disastrous at times. A lot of undesirable elements like school teachers and Principals passed scoring heavily in the written test but not in oral exam.Nonetheless, they received high averageswhen results of both exams were added. Mrs Banadaranaike found two such mis -fits who could not fit into the normal diplomatic requirement and asked Dr.Vernon Mendis and me to arrange to send them to the Administrative Service but the idea was resisted by Minister Felix Dias B saying his Ministry did not want to accept other’s rejected baggage. In the last batch of trainees I found a few pathetic cases. One was an ex-Buddhist monk who did not understand a word of English and was totally lost in the new environment he had to cope up with;and another, Tamil girl of Estate origin who too did not understand either English or Sinhala but always enticed me with a charming smile.The Ex-Buddhist monk later committed suicide in Kataragama jungles but the other progressed fast and was holding a Head of Mission post in an Asian country almost within ten years by which time my contemporaries and I had not even First Secretary status when serious work was assigned. That I believe was through an important political connection.

    So one cannot single out the Rajapaksa govt alone for this slide in the Foreign service though it is true it interfered with selection with impunity and packed the foreign service with kith and kin and other favourites, not excluding a former Professor’s daughter, perhaps as a reward for the Professor turned diplomat plying the role of Devndora -san with his younger female secretary, including playing Ping-Pong with her during the second half of the day while the rest of his office was busy working. The other feature marked during his period was growing indiscipline I our missions where “clickism” and political partisanship were apparent.

    Even though naturally I have some empathy for career officers, I am prepared to look beyond that. Some competition from outside from competent personnel is a good thing. The Overseas Service minute provided for such lateral recruitment. That is important where especial proficiency like journalism, legal knowledge is lacking among the career officers.

    Maintenance of high standards is the most important thing. Language competence is a must. This is where some who had acquired it already would have been an asset as Dhanapala who was later Director General thought and invited my eldest daughter to send in an application to meet a deficiency in the Foreign Office but which she refused. (Now Matilda Ellepola should not get jittery over it. She cannot be from the respected Ellepola family from Matale I knew who were very educated and genuine. One even told me of his grandfather being proud of his Vedda blood and also whispered to me that there was also Burmese blood flowing in their veins from which they derived the particular tan of their family. Nothing wrong!).

    There has to be strict standards for promotion including higher research qualifications. There should be a mechanism to weed out incompetents to make room for new intakes.hat is through internal examinations (Trade Ministry has such a scheme).
    Those who show promise should be given other exposures like Staff College Training in Military Academy as India does. Do anyone of our career officers attend any Seminars /lectures held in Universities and other institutes where I often sea defence Ministry Officers attending in Large numbers?
    Specialisation is a must. Here should be UN specialists, India specialists, China specialists, conference specialists, disarmament specialists, security specialists, cultural affairs specialists including UNESCO affairs, legal specialists, trade /economic affairs specialists, documentation specialists,consular affairs specialists.

    Our tendency has been to kill such specialization even where officers acquired some specialization of their own. It is only in UN affairs hat some specialization is noted, e.g.Ben Fonseka, Balasubramanium, Nihal Rodrigo, Bernard Goonetilleke, Kariawasam, Palihakkara and others.
    What we have produced is by and large, mostly generalists.

    Sportsmanship in games like Golf and Tennis which can promote political/social-contact and other such like promoting games should be encouraged, not excluding Bridge. (India does it in a big way).
    As I said earlier, I would not exclude Karate and Judo et al in the Sri Lankan context where diplomats face assault by politicians. (This is why when my youngest daughter was preparing for a foreign service career I encouraged her to become a Black Belt in Karate and continue her swimming and tennis. I hope Matilda would not feel jealous!).
    In short, the Foreign Service should not be allowed to be a place for people to rot and be a haven for Lotus Eaters and the incompetent to insulate themselves through a closed circuit mentality. However, this does not mean destroying the career foreign service which should be the backbone of the foreign policy making apparatus.US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spelled out the key role of the career service in US foreign policy making.

    Bandu de Silva

    • 10
      1

      “”In my days as Director of Overseas Administration when I wielded much authority because I had the full backing of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Bandaranaike, who brought me down from Japan for that job, with instructions to help her build up a strong foreign service.””

      Kussi Amma was a school drop out like Churchill the war criminal.

      Birds of a feather flock together so she delighted in having you- you have no qualification either except to spin the coconut tree like another Nasser.

      The country is enjoying the exchange of house maids heroin etc thanks to the Banda family of lefty loony’s .

  • 4
    1

    Need more Sinhala people , specially Sinhala Buddhists to move up
    the elite class – K.A.Sumanasekera
    —————————————————————–
    The past regime has brought even the hood lumps to the elite class
    filling all the vacant higher positions in the govt. sector. Seen
    the no. of new officials brought in by this govt.in the newspapers and it has no Tamil names. Do not know whether Tamils have changed their names to Sinhala names to gain employment but the actual truth is that there are none of them except only the CJ, who happened to
    be the next person in line according to seniority and circumstances
    brought him to this position, which could be short lived.

    So Sumanae, hold your ambition until such time the minorities get
    their fair share. Even the provincial governors of N/E are not Tamils.

  • 0
    0

    you talked sonali so what about sunil jayadekara he app as dy media director president sec your web never expose

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