4 July, 2022

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Ranil Does A Mahinda: Appoints Cousin As Sri Lankan High Commissioner To UK

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, appears to be flouting his own election pledges in his attempt to appoint his cousin Amari M. Wijewardene as the new Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Amari Wijewardene

Amari Wijewardene

Wickremesinghe, who came to power promising to wipe out nepotism, and promote good governance, transparency and accountability, has bypassed much more qualified foreign service officials, and has instead proposed the name of his cousin, who is Chairman & Managing Director at the Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC.

Her name has been nominated to the Parliamentary Working Committee on Senior Portfolios as the new High Commissioner to UK.

She is also cousin to Ruwan Wijewardene, the State Minister of Defence.

Last November, 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 as a consul to the Sri Lankan High Commission in UK.

Since the resignation of former High Commissioner, Dr. Chris Nonis, in September 2014, the post has remained vacant. There is also no Deputy High Commissioner.

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  • 0
    1

    RANIL[Edited out]

  • 11
    16

    What’s wrong with you blokes ? Don’t you know that in this small Country of ours at least half the population is some how related or connected to everybody and if you get married then it becomes even worse as then the other half is connected. Then you are left with the problem of whom to appoint to any position as all the people in the Country are either related or connected, and you will, as in this case be accused of Nepotism. WHAT a LIFE !!

    • 17
      1

      Your theory is not appilcable to the Rajapakses?

    • 4
      0

      ELDORADO – There is a process to follow, call for applicants, short list at the interview and then select the suitable person.

  • 11
    1

    All the Politician are in the same boat.Once get in to power all of them will
    look after their friends and relatives.Mahinda Rajapakse did it now Maithri
    and Ranil with their yahapalanaya government is doing the same.The difference
    is Mahinda did do preach to be a Saint.But yahapalanaya fellows were preaching
    and screeming to get in to power promising to eliminate this type of political
    nepotism.Look what is happenning now.Can preach but cannot practice what you preach.It is a shame

  • 18
    25

    Amari is one of the most successful women entrepreneurs, Sri Lanka has produced, who has grown her father’s business into what it is today, in a highly competitive field, where the Unilever Brands with the huge advertising and marketing budgets dominate the space.

    I know the information below is of no relevance except in informing the public of who she is! Her Great Grand Parents on her Mothers, and Fathers side were Tudugalle Mohandiram Don Philip Wijewardene, a descendent of King Parakrama Bahu VI of Kotte, and Helena Wijewardene, born a Christian (an arrack renter’s daughter) who reconstructed the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihare, bequeathing a substantial endowment too.

    A little known fact is that she is currently the Chief Dayikawa of the Kelani Temple. Ranil Wickremasinghe is the Chief of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihare Dayake Sabha and Dammika Atygalle, the Basnayake Nilame of the same. Her both grandfathers being brothers, and the two eldest sons of Helena, means she has more Wijewardene inheritance than most, and she reverted to her maiden name after marriage.

    All devout Buddhists know that Swadeshi sponsors MORE Aloka Poojas at Temples than most other institutions, be they Wijeya who does, Tantirimale, Lake House who does, Mihintale, Swadeshi does Kelaniya, Devundera Shri Vishnu Devale, Dambedeniya Raja Maha Vihare, Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale in Ratnapura, Kiri Vehera in Kataragama amongst others.

    He mother Ira and her father Donald are first Cousins of the PM’s mother and State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene’s father, which makes her second cousins of both of the above. SO when it comes to family bandism or nepotism if we stretch it to that level, in a small island, looking for those capable and willing to do the job, outside the circle is sometimes hard to find, and I challenge someone to suggest someone better who will take the job, as it involves spending one’s own money, if one is to make the most of the connections in London, and does the required PR job to the extent necessary in the current Honeymoon period that Sri Lanka is going through with the British Establishment.

    Frankly NO career diplomat can do this particular job, and it always has been a political appointment just as it is for the US too! The Ambassadors sent to London especially from the Commonwealth from all parts must be able to communicate with one another, to make the posting a successful one. It is important for Sri Lanka foreign policy to have a Businesswoman, representing her, in order to concentrate on Investment opportunities, the need of the hour.Suffice to say that the Foreign Service has yet to learn how to attract inward investment.

    Critics say Chris Nonis marketed his Mackwoods Tea while in London, and that Amari will try to do the same! If you take that tack I would tell her to go to Unilever and fight their unfair trade practices at the heart of the Unilever Offices to show them that using their predatory pricing to kill home grown outfits like Swadeshi and the new products and perfumes they are bringing on, and battle head on with the deep pockets of Unilever is a David and Golliath battle.

    She has battled Unilever in Sri Lanka, she deserves to go to London and fight them there too! What Aloka pooja has Unilever sponsored? Time they sponsor the lot Amari!

    WE MUST BE PROUD that we are sending a successful Businesswoman to London, and we can cut the critics in the media in one swoop with her pluses that outnumber her minuses. So stop your broken record of Nepotism and judge your criticism fairly.

    Yes she travels to London at least twice a year, yes she is rich and Colombo 7, yes she is from a famous family, and yes she is part of the Laity of the Buddhist heritage. So what is wrong?

    She has the courage to take this thankless task of a London posting that few really have the CHUTZPAH to carry out successfully. I just hope the Foreign Ministry increases the paltry entertainment allowance of their London diplomats so that they are able to show off the Country, and who better than always ELEGANT Amari Wijewardene, the best dressed diplomat! perhaps of all of the Diplomatic Corps of the Court of St. James a true princess if we ever had one!

    • 13
      4

      You said it all when you said all about her background is nothing to do with this affair!!So when somebody talk about Gota being the defence secretary they can justify it.But in that case Gota is highly wualified for that post but here we see a lot of highly qualified guys out there and what Ranil was preaching never happened.I am sure he will try to re-define nepotism like MY3 and Arjuna and Rajitha and Ravi and etc,etc,,,What a shame!!!

    • 6
      1

      Patta Pal,

      Thanks for being frank about her relationship with the PM and according to the details you have given , she is a lady to be admired about her ability,qualifications and her affections towards the religion but this job belongs to a career diplomat and people of her calibre should encourage the Govt. to have career diplomats taking over these positions and get them to set an example.

      More over, I am sure you will agree that selection of diplomats for
      overseas missions is the job for the FM and not the PM.

      • 3
        1

        Absolutely a career diplomat should get this posting as Ambassador to the UK. They sure know their job and need to represent Sri Lanka to the highest esteem. However, it will not be easy as all these politicians and their families and friends will turn up with letters wanting to stay at the Ambassador’s Residence and it will end up like a hotel. There are many free loaders – when in Sri Lanka they pretend to be very upper class but when overseas they stoop down to being very cheap in their behaviour. I guess this may be one reason why no career diplomat has taken up the position.

        • 2
          0

          Amarawathi – You are absolutely correct. There will be scroungers looking for free lodging and she or he can be recalled if those facilities were not offered, under some pretext . Also admitted, the position of an Ambassador is not a lucrative position, where one could throw money on private entertainment, which cannot be recharged to the Govt, and they get meagre allowances. but the govt. should try to follow age old tradition of appointing career diplomats for such positions, who are trained in this field and offer 100 % of their time for the Country, unlike some of them in the recent past, had one foot in their own business and the other in the Embassy.India and many other democratic countries do have career diplomatic to look after govt. affairs, abroad.
          In this case, this job was not offered to a career diplomat and
          there would have been takers if offered and the govt.is depriving this group of people, their legitimate right to serve abroad and
          that is the point I have argued on. If they are not up to the standard ,train them like how India does.

          The diplomatic positions are in great demand in the UK and USA
          as they have a chance to give their grown up children, a good
          education and the fact is, this is why the offer goes beyond
          the diplomatic corp.

    • 4
      1

      Patta Paia – [Edited out] man with your tracing the family tree. Who cares? The fact is NO nepotism. Is this broad a career diplomat? Faggot RW said he would appoint professionals not family members. [Edited out]

  • 3
    3

    If you believe in abrahamic religion, all are related to each other.
    Also godhood/ prophet hood goes to those on the same pedigree or lineage.

  • 10
    15

    whats wrong with you people are the men scared of a woman taking over the reigns as embassador. she will do a mutch better job than any man in this country.she is from a top aristocratic family background who doesnt need to make money because she has always had it.we need a top business woman who will actually do some work there and improve relations with britain not a godaya who cannot speak english and cannot move with high rankers in the uk.
    i say go girl you can do it show them whatr sri lankan women are made off you will be a far better superior embassador than any of these jokers.

  • 2
    9

    What’s wrong with you people are the men scared of a woman taking over the reigns as ambassador. she will do a much better job than any man in this country. she is from a top aristocratic family background who doesn’t need to make money because she has always had it. we need a top business woman who will actually do some work there and improve relations with Britain not a godaya who cannot speak English and cannot move with high rankers in the uk.
    i say go girl you can do it show them what sri lankan women are made off you will be a far better superior ambassador than any of these jokers.

    • 9
      1

      Your theory is not applicable to the Rajapakses? What I gather from the comments is that the requirements for the. H. C post is being a good buisness woman, have good connections the ability to speak fluent English and belong to the. Colombo elite. PHEW THIS COMBINATION. I am sure cannot be found any where in. S L.!

  • 5
    5

    There is nothing wrong in nepotism when selecting people as long as they are competent. In fact if a person is competent for the job and is a kinsmen it is a plus point as the governing entity can place more reliance on such people to be loyal and dedicated. Of course the governing entity itself should be focused, dedicated and self disciplined to not allow cronyism to set in through such appointments of kinsmen

    • 7
      2

      For public paid jobs, most suitable person should be elected by conducting interviews. That is fair play and equal opportunity!
      What do you know about democracy?

      • 4
        3

        It all depends on who conducts the interviews! As you know there are commissions to whom IGP, AG CJ posts are put forward from eligible candidates. Then for Political Appointments which sometimes occur by necessity, let the new constitution say that the Parliament must ratify, as in the US.

        SO when Barak Obama’s favorite fund raiser was appointed to London, the senate had to approve it. So let us hope we incorporate that into the new Constitution, so there is an independent vetting body, outside of the nominating body. To stop the fillibustering by the senate in the US, that can delay appointments for years, we must have a mechanism where a decision one way or the other is made immediately, so in the event of rejection, then alternatives can be put in place.

        Atul Pratap had to warm his toes for months until he received his Senate blessing to come to Sri Lanka, so even in that case there was a gap between appointments due to that red tape delay

  • 5
    8

    The more I think about it, I am convinced that given a certain freedom to operate outside of the tentacles of a claustrophobic High Commission, she can bring credit to Sri Lanka, as one of the most senior members of the Commonwealth in a way no one else from Sri Lanka can match.

    Being single with one daughter having to run the business, and the other living in England she can devote more energy to PR and entertainment in diplomatic circles in the efficient way she has shown she can.

    Why didn’t I think of her earlier as the most suitable for the job, irrespective of whether she was most critical of her Cousin the PM. Now she has something to prove, that she can match him and beat him in the diplomatic stakes, as she always felt politics is for the tardy and running a business having to take responsibility to meet payroll, a real test of character.

    Good Luck Girl you need it in this den of iniquity which is diplomatic games to win for your Country.

  • 8
    5

    What qualification did Ms.Bandaranayaka have when she became priminister of sri lanka. we need capable people do there job and be loyal to the country.half the people who are so called Carrier diplomats do not know to behave in society. unfortunately most sri lankan are jealous of other peoples well being. sri lanka is in this position due to the jealouseness of people.

    • 3
      1

      No problem mate, Appoint you old school mates, Old Uni buddies, and Who pasted posters! That is what we do most of the time in Sri Lanka!

      The village bumpkins can always be kept in villages. They do not need an opportunity! fair game!
      You can burn another 40,000 in tyres, when their frustrations boils up.

      Some thought these moronic government can bring a just rule. I see pigs flying!

      Only person who tried to fix this burning issue was President Premadasa!
      Then came Chandrika, Started the bandwagon again!

      The most important requirement in democracy is to elect representatives that uphold right morals and who have accomplished in their own fields to govern their respective fields in the country!

      All the politicians in the world is only good at talking! Including Obama! They will talk bullshit all day all the time and enjoy the benefits at public expense. Situation is not much different in UK too.

      When a fashion designer become the foreign affairs minister and Timber board chairman runs the telecom, No wonder they go down!

      Vive la nepotism!

      PS: Last straw, Get rid of the free education too. year 5 scholarship! so no bumpkin can get in to Royal, Ananda and Nalanda!

    • 3
      0

      Nimal Karunathilake

      “What qualification did Ms.Bandaranayaka have when she became priminister of sri lanka.”

      The qualification that took to giddying height was that she was the fact that she was the weeping widow of a former racist prime minister. You could say it was nepotism at its best.

      “sri lanka is in this position due to the jealouseness of people.”

      And the stupidity of its entire population.

  • 1
    0

    In Tamil there is a saying “சுற்றி சுற்றி சுப்பருடைய கோல்லைக்குள்ளே”
    It means that finally it boils down to within the same compound. In politics it is hard to avoid political dynasty.

  • 1
    2

    Go for it “PATTI’ that was an excellent certificate you gave the H.C. to be,( not appointed as yet ?) hope she will rise to the occasion and fulfil all your expectations or else its curtains for you , Ranil, and the whole Country, ‘Disce et Discede’.

  • 6
    2

    Some people argue in support of Ranil. They contend that this woman is a sucessful woman, religious and comes from a ‘royal’ ancestry. This shows the Sri Lankan mentality. When are we going to think rationally,objectively and equitably? Problem hete is outright nepotism. There is no equal opportunity offered. I am sure there are many career women who can fit in this job. This government is sliding down to the level worse than the MR regime. Yahapalanaya cannot approve this type of nepotism period.

  • 0
    2

    Looking at the issue from a different angle I would say this. Believing that it is accepted that the position of HC in the UK is an important one for Sri Lanka, firstly the person holding the position should be 100% proficient in the English language, secondly the person should be a good PR person and a good organiser, next should be well knowledgeable in political issues and finally a good good aministrator. Whatever the issues for and against are; whoever who was holding the poisition since the departure of Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne none who succeeded had these qualities and their performance was poor. The Diplomatic Service beng as it is, it is difficult to find a good person within the service. Then the option is from outside the service. It is not always possible that person chosen from outside the Diplomatice Service is not a relative of a person highly placed in the Govt. So what is necessary is, whether related or not, the person so chosen is meeting the requirements and qualities required of the position. As such any criticism levelled on the person chosen should not be completely on the issue of being a relative but on the person’s ability.

  • 4
    5

    Congratulations on your appointment and wish you every success in your new duties. Please be aware that you have our full support.

  • 5
    5

    It gives me great pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to you on your appointment as High Commissioner To UK. I trust that you will continue to work for the improvement of our country.

  • 3
    4

    Best of luck in what I am sure will be a great experience.congratulations on your appointment as High Commissioner To UK. It’s a big honour, and an opportunity that I am sure you will relish.

  • 2
    0

    Tamils and Sinhalease leaders don’t allow smart people to lead. That is why they have been fighting since 1948. You need to be smart to make decent decisions. How many Sri Lankans have desire for knowledge? How many Lankans read at home or when they travel? I haven’t seen that many readers here. They all are enjoying being lazy and stupid. They don’t desire for knowledge, nor aporeciate smart people. Therefore, Why are you expecting fools to do decent things and prosper?

  • 3
    7

    You are the brave women in our country. Congratulations. So proud of you….!

  • 3
    3

    May your new position be fulfilling and serve as a doorway to blessings for you…….!

  • 3
    6

    Dear guys

    no point of blaming Ranil ,now.

    Ranil is a man who has and who will never move with anybody unless he or she is a man or woman from his social class. while at Royal college as well as at Law college he kept aloof from commoners , moved with people of so called super elite.
    i still can remember one of my close relative who was an anandian and was president of science faculty, while ranil was president of Law faculty ,where both of them had been in the Colombo university students union. But while being in the student union he had observed what kind of Fellow Rani was.He kept aloof and did not maintain friendships as you all are well aware, 99% who enter university are children of ordinary masses.
    he can move with people like Kabir Hassim ,Malik ,Chandrika ,and her brother Anura.
    So ranil has never moved with or even will never dream in his wildest dreams of moving with people like you and i, however much we are educated ,rich as long as you and do not belong to that family and social class (in his own estimate) even you might be thinking you are an elite just becuase you happened to go to Royal or similar school you also man because you father might be somebody.
    So he will trust and recognise people of his socail class only. Especially ranil being a kadu sudda ( he “motherland” is England not ceylon) .so how do you expect him to send as HIGH Commissioner ,who does not first satisfy ,basic qualification ,i mean social class.

    so please do not blame him ,but blame yourselves for electing a person who do not represent you all to lead the country and guide our future. cannot you all remember for him nobody at central bank was not suitable to be appointed as governor and had to get down his friend and Mahendran (who even had renounced citizenship).

    Despite 1000 shortcomings, Mahinda rajapaka was a man who represented common people as he was a who moved with everybody, kings and queen but did not loose the common touch.
    On the other hand I do not think it is nepotism ,for you and I HC of UK may be a big thing but not to ranil and peole of his class. He wanted a man /woman who could deal with british guys with equals and in that sence she is suitable. son of a country bumpkin even if he was a royalist with education will not have the guts to deal with sudda if the necessity arises.for which family background is also an essential ingredient.

    • 4
      1

      You seems to be carrying a lot of mental baggage.

      We hired Ranil to run the country and not to socialise with him. It is his prerogative what to do with his life or whom to socialise with. He is a decent human being.

      As for MR – he used people for photographs / publicity or when he needed something. He is a cunning SOB and the ignorant people got caught to him. He plundered the common man’s money. Are you ok with that ?

  • 2
    2

    Well Done Amari, Congratulations.

    Know you will do an excellent job.

    God Bless you.

    Proud to be a BISHOPIAN.

    Swarna.

  • 0
    1

    some peoples nepotism other peoples best choice !
    What a funny world .I feel sorry for Buckingham palace !

  • 3
    0

    She was not a BISHOPIAN, she was from LADIES COLLEGE COLOMBO 7. I remember her walking across with the rest of the Ladies Literati team to Royal College IN THE EARLY SIXTIES for the annual English Literary Debates at the Hall. She was quite prim and proper even then, as most LC girls were. That is also where she found her first LOVE.

    Incidentally, once she goes as HC to the UK what will happen to her SWADESHI INDUSTRIES, which she managed as Executive Chairman so efficiently? Will it crash, drop in profitability, or will she manage it remote control from the UK?

  • 2
    0

    Let me confirm again she was from BISHOPS COLLEGE.

    She was AT BISHOPS COLLEGE from the baby class untill A.Levels

    She is NOT from Ladies College.
    One can ask this from Amari herself.

    Proud to be a BISHOPIAN.

    • 2
      2

      This is very pathetic low self esteem mentality in Sri Lanka, carrying school or university badges.
      My school had this! My school did this! PM from my schools! President from my school!
      Grow up! You are just sad.

  • 2
    1

    People all over the world are generally PROUD of of their
    Alma Mater.

    So were we at BISHOPS COLLEGE.

    We were HAPPY students.

  • 3
    3

    So reading all the Brahmin’s comments here I came to the following conclusions.

    1. It is not appropriate to be proud of one’s Alma Mater if it is one of the so called elite Colombo schools. But it is O.K. to be proud on ones school if it is Ananda, Nalanda or any of the so called non elite schools.

    2. Even though it would be advantageous for Sri Lanka to have a businessmen or women with a proven track record as ambassador to the UK we must stick to a career diplomat who would not have any business experience because we cannot and should not look out side the box even when it has been common practice to do so in the past.

    3. When looking for a suitable candidate we must exclude all those who are related to the PM or President even if they are the most qualified and suitable for the job. This includes second cousins, third cousins and just about anyone with even a remote connection.

    4. The PM in this case has to cursed and equated to the Rajapakshes for this huge act of nepotism.

    5. All the leading Colombo 7 families are evil and deserving of derision and ridicule no matter how educated cultured and tolerant of their fellow human beings they maybe. All the sacrifices these people have made over the years/generations is to be ridiculed and put down because they don’t deserve any praise due to their status.

  • 2
    1

    So be it Swarna maybe you are right. I may have mistaken another for her, but SHE did find her first love from the better college.

    I do agree that one has to be proud of one’s ALMA MATER especially when there is so much to be proud about it’s achievements.
    Cheers to all Bishopians and may you churn out many more HC’s

  • 2
    2

    Luck has a funny way of coming into people’s life. It follows hard working people wherever they go and does a no show for all the slackers. Congratulations for your appointment as High Commissioner To UK, you deserved to be the lucky one.

  • 1
    0

    Sorry to say that prime Minister and other Ministers have forgotton the U.N.P people who worked hard to bring them on these chairs.now they appoint all their cousins and friends who were not working for U.N.P during the difficult period and the election times.When Mr Ranil was having problems with the others when he was the opposition leader, these people were with either Mahinda or else where.today all UNP who did hard works and safe guarded ranil has no chance .it is difficult to contact them either.it is a sad situation.will wait till the next election.will inform the leader to get the support who they appointed for big posts for election works.

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