2 June, 2023


Ranil Toughens Stand After Mangala’s Foreign Service Stooges Defy Him

A head-on confrontation between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera has become inevitable after officials in the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Service have continue to defy the PM.

Ranil and Mangala

Ranil and Mangala

After tensions between the two began to mount, Wickremesinghe has said he will raise all the pertinent issues with Samaraweera when he returns to Colombo. He is now on a tour of Japan where he has received an overwhelming welcome and the honour of addressing Diet, their parliament.

The sharp difference first came to the fore before the Prime Minister’s visit to India. He had sought a detailed brief from officials in the Foreign Ministry. What he received shocked him. A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat told Colombo Telegraph even a GCE (OL) student could have written a better report than the puerile one the PM received. The Prime Minister announced publicly that in future he will not seek any report from any official in the Foreign Ministry nor take anyone from there on his foreign visits.

The Indian visit took place without any Foreign Ministry representative. Even the current Japan visit saw no one from this Ministry taking part. After these two events, things have been on the increase.

This official said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has also been upset over the conduct of Sri Lanka Ambassador in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha. This had come after reports were received alleging that he had been briefing via secret telephone calls at least two persons, a former diplomat and a Minister, regularly matters relating to the UN Human Rights Council. Such inputs had been included in opposition statements. Aryasinha was a strong loyalist of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Foreign Minister, G.L. Peiris and a close friend of Dayan Jayatilleka, former Ambassador to Geneva. In the recent months he has cultivated Foreign Minister Samaraweera and had claimed he could get anything done by him.

Another official who had repeatedly defied the Prime Minister, it is alleged, is the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chitranganee Wagiswara referred to by officials at the FO as the “Ayah Amma.” She had refused to sign an agreement with America to obtain legal assistance using an excuse that cabinet has not given approval. The Prime Minister’s Secretariat official said “she was pulled up” and the PM ordered that the offer is accepted. There were other officials also who have been identified for their lackadaisical attitude towards the PM and his office.

Mangala Samaraweera has been bitter that he was given only the Foreign Affairs portfolio and denied the subject of telecommunications. It was the latter portfolio he used to provide jobs for those from his electorate. After he was denied a second subject, Samaraweera has told close friends, he made a request from the President Maithripala Sirisena. He has wanted to give him an additional portfolio. Samaraweera has alleged to his friends that Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake telephoned President’s Secretary Abeykoon and told him not to give anything to Samaraweera.

Some officials in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat are asking whether Samaraweera himself is getting his officials to be indifferent. These officials dismissed reports that all was well between the Foreign Minister and the PM. He has been ignoring requests made by the Prime Minister with regard to Foreign Office persons, these officials said.

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  • 17

    AS Mahen points out, times have changed. There was a
    time when career diplomats were the creme a la creme
    of the diplomatic service. Now there are bag carriers.

    One big weakness of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime
    is their inability or reluctance to change the old
    order of MR.

    After all, the Sri Lankan diplomats are the face and
    the voice of the government to the outside world. Ravinatha
    Ariyasina has serve more than six years in that area,
    all the time brownosing Rajapaksa, Sajin Vass Gunawardena
    and G.L. Peiris. He is doing the same thing with Mangala
    Samaraweera. So is Ayah Amma Wagiswara.

    • 15

      A government not having the spunk to change personnel in the strategic areas of Administration, Foreign Affairs,Legal and Defence establishments is doomed.

    • 5

      Why is Ranil spending 5 days in Japan? Does he not have work to do in Sri Lanka as the Prime Minister?! Usually visits of heads of state or deputies are 24 hours to 3 days because they have BUSY SCHEDULES.

      But it seems that Ranil has all the time in the world to hang out in Japan!!
      Meanwhile all the corruption cases are being postponed till next year and there is NO JUSTICE in the country!
      Yesterday Gotabaya Rajapaksas FR petition hearing to stop him being arrested over the Rakna Lanka scam was postponed till next year. JUSTICE IS A JOKE IN SRI LANKA.

      Let us not forget that justice delayed is justice denied.

      What a joke this ayahapalanaya Govt. is with Sirisens’s National list of corrupt MPs.

      The judiciary is dragging its feet on all cases and the AG is a Rajapaksa Stooge.

    • 2

      If the story is anything to go by, Ranil & Mangala at loggerheads , it’s obviously as the report itself suggests. over Mangala’s inability to give employment to those who helped him in politics during last 9 years or so.

      Ranil a veteran in politics closing in on a record 40 years in parliament continuously should look in to this, perhaps a way out for Mangala, though not easy with a jumbo cabinet, but certainly he can sort this out, thereafter there won’t be any petty issues over Ranil’s command over Foreign Affairs because Ranil too cannot afford to lose unconditional loyalty of Mangala at this moment of time.

  • 2

    Off the wall – Like Humpty Dumpty
    don’t sit on the wall. Get down
    to ground and take a look or go
    for counselling yourself. Your
    advice to CT which is keeping
    their readers informed should
    apply to you. The ego problem
    with you, I look at with great
    sympathy. This is particularly
    when you do not have the brains
    of a bee to see what is news,
    what is comment and very very
    importantly what is common
    sense. I will pay for the psychiatrist
    if you send me the bill but do see
    someone for god’s sake. It will do
    other CT readers a lot of good. It
    will also do good for you too. You
    will learn not to sit in judgement
    and allow each reader to decide.

  • 6

    The bottom line is the calibre of diplomats are well below par whether they are career diplomats or political appointees.

    You cannot blame only the Foreign ministry since it is a gradual deterioration of standards. Look at Ministry Secretaries and you will be shocked at such poor quality officers with no depth, quality and deportment.

    I have three of my school mates in overseas missions and they are all well below par. I guess they may be better than others.

    A complete overhaul is required and hopefully Ranil can deliver.

  • 8

    Why do some third-world countries stay underdeveloped. Political leaders are more concerned about their own and families’ interest than that of the people and the country. Infighting and over powering of others take most of their time and energy.

    The system is locked with the corrupt officials of the previous regime. The present duo is scared of the old guards and extremists who can rock the boat and stir the water. So the status quo continues.

    Allocation of largest share of expenditure to wasteful military at the expense of much needed help to education and health is a sign of keeping the mischief makers in check. It’s doubtful this government can deliver the goods so long as the power remains in the hands of Rajapakse appointees.

  • 6

    The real culprit is Saman Ekanayake. As a aman hailing from Nikaweratiya, he showed that he was the most loyal man to Bogollagama and provided funds for Bogollagama for his projects. as a gratitude he was given two postings by Bogols. One to Malaysia and the most recent one to London. Rosie Senanayake who was the then Ambassador in Malaysia had always made very adverse comments about Saman Ekanayake in particular about his very poor English proficiency. After London he wanted another posting, but the Foreign Ministry Sajin Vass refused and transferred him out of the Ministry as recommended by his loyal SLOS ladies and gentlemen. Saman Ekanayake was very angry over it.
    We don’t know on what basis Ranil selected him as his Secretary but the Indian PM office will not employ him even as a peon! Such poor quality crap.
    Saman Ekanayake has prejudiced Ranil against the FM displaying his Nikaweratiya qualities.
    Mangala has proved that he is a man with a backbone by challenging mighty MR & Company.
    As Prof Rajiv Wijesinghe once remarked Ranil behaves as if he knows everything. Ranil is a good leader for Sri Lanka, but he cannot sustain his victories due to his micro management.

    • 2

      There has been a mistaken notion growing over time that those poor in English are good in Sinhalese or Tamil. Nothing is more wrong.

  • 9

    Batalanda Ranil’s “form” has been abysmal since the appointment of his mate Mahendran.

    22.5 Million worth of commission goes to the family trust every month.

    Even as late as at the last Election, Ranil promised another one of his committees to investigate his mate Mahendran.

    But never said anything after the Election.

    Now he can’t stop his close mates running riot appointing Brothers, Sisters, Sons . Daughters and even In Laws to plum jobs in the Government.

    This has made the Yahapalana suckers angry.

    Ranil’s agenda to give Vellala Sambandan his Homeland was hijacked by Mangalan to his and Sirisena’s advantage.

    And has been sugar coated to hoodwink the UNP Sinhala Buddhist Faction, by Mangalan .

    Mangalan agreed with the UN to legalize same sex marriages and made him look like their champion.

    No wonder Ranil is pissed off.

    The other CT reported that Ranil is going to make his own Foreign Service. as soon as he returns.

    Can Ranil do it without Gamrala’s approval.

    Sira will do anything to undermine Ranil hoping his loving Daham can one day get the gig.

    Whisky Madam wants total control of the Government to do an Indira Gandhi.

    The Madam knows that poor Daham is already damaged goods and has no chop.

    Who is better suited than the one time SLFP Heavy Mangalan to do the dirty on Ranil and make him redundant..

    And may even end up as the PM before the next Election.

    Did someone say Politico is a Dirty Business ..

    • 4

      Batalanda Ranil? Everyone is talking about Batalanda – this was a Chandrika’s propoganda bogey at that time. Ranil was hauled before the courts over and over again but nothing was proved against him because he is really MR. CLEAN. Ranil will deliver but not MS. MS is here only because of Ranil. MS is only interested in putting back the SLFP together. He may soon lose his popularity.

      • 0

        [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 3

    MaRa catchers in the Foreign Ministry,seem to be engineering a split between the PM and Mangala.

    Dr.Dayan Jayatillaka in a rare appearance on the CT COMMENTS COLUMN,hurriedly disowns Ravinatha Aryasingha.However,he holds on to Tamara Kunanayagam,his soul mate.,not comrade!
    Diplomats from other countries,did take issue with the stand taken by RA at UNHCR-Geneva.,since it did not tally with the Foreign Ministers speech.
    There is something Fishy going on. Wedges are being driven,between the PM and his Ministers;
    Operation PERCY eh?

  • 9

    Ranil Toughens Stand After Mangala’s Foreign Service Stooges Defy Him

    *** I dont know who the Author of this article is but whoever it is the contents make me wonder what the fuss is about. I don”t for a moment wish to say that everything is Hunky Dori between the two.
    But it was blatantly obvious that there was no coordination between the two important department on a very Crucial Issue at the UN last week.
    Mangala Samaraweera was in a conciliatory mood with the Initial UN resolution of ” Hybrid” mechanism whereas RW was in a denial mode and this seems to me to be the cause of the friction. RW is all out to save MR come what may.
    Everything above is a pie in the sky and in my view all a sinister conspiracy theory to show Mangala the exit door.

  • 0

    This report by the CT is grist to mill for conspiracy theorists of differnt
    hues. This is whilst known Ghost Writers for Mahinda Rajapaksa, like Dayan
    Jayatilleke, say they do not know Ravinatha Ariyasinha. This is like Dayan saying he does not know even Mahinda Rajapaksa. Why this rush to disown the
    drowning Ambassador?

    If one looks beyond their nose, the truth is there to see. All the self proclaimed praise through media statements notwithstanding, whether Mangala
    Samaraweera is doing a good job remains an important question. True his circling the globe in Busines and First Class flights. Just see the following;

    It is ten months or more since this government has remained in office. They have not been able to appoint any one person to London, an important hub when it comes to foreign relations. Why take such a long time?

    FM Samaraweera went to New York, came to London to meet friends in the Global Tamil Forum and flew from there to Tokyo. He is spending more time in the air than home. Aya Amma Chitranganee, as the CT report show, has little or no personality nor savvy enough to run a foreign service. She could easily be mistaken as a domestic helper in a Sri Lanka delegation. She may be showing that there is no one else who is so efficient. If so, Samaraweera can easily reduce his travel and work more from Colombo.

    But those photos with everyone who is somebody in world politics will have to be fed regularly to the Foreign Office in Colombo for distribution to the media. How could he do that without foreign travel? President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe will have to look into all these aspects. Even the Deputy Minister can be given the opportunity to travel for smaller tasks.

  • 2

    Yes, Ranil is determined to save MR at any cost.But this is not what the voters expected. Sadly we are now compelled to wait another 5 yrs. to teach a good lesson, like what we did to MR.

  • 1

    Reading the comments from readers after the interesting account presented
    by the CT, one thing becomes very clear to me. There is wide acknowledgement
    that there is rot in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with most Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists still holding sway.

    This is the message for Mangala Samaraweera. Try to defend them and go against
    the Prime Minister or remove those bad eggs and move forward. That is the choice
    before him. He should not take Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for granted. That would be a big mistake.

  • 2

    Ranil, Mangala and the Foreign Service diplomats based in Colombo,Geneva and Washington have done a great job in watering down the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka. They should all be commended for what they have achieved for the country at a time when the LTTE Diaspora were doing their utmost to get a resolution adopted at least for a hybrid judicial mechanism.

    I believe that some of the commentators here have vented their anger at some of the best Sri Lankan Foreign Service officers perhaps for reasons of their own other than the national interest of Sri Lanka.

    In particular, one commentator has called some of Sri Lanka’s best diplomats as stooges of the former regime. Some of those mentioned by that commentator are in fact the cream of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service talent. Maheshine Colonne is very intelligent and she is a very good diplomat. Prasad Kariyawasam had done a good job in Washington and in many other places where he was posted as Sri Lanka’s envoy. Ravinatha Aryasingha reportedly handled the negotiations in Geneva admirably well. ALA Aziz, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Austria, is yet another talented career diplomat.

    All these diplomats are career diplomats with many years of diplomatic service. They have the training and experience to handle diplomatic matters. It is an insult to call them stooges.

    Sri Lankan career diplomats are doing a good job even though at times their due places and postings are denied by the successive governments making political appointments of people outside the career diplomatic service.

    In a country like Australia, the media would not comment on the work of that country’s diplomats. Like the Sri Lankan diplomats they are public servants and are respected as such. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka the good names of Sri Lankan diplomats are trashed by the media and by all kinds of people venturing to write comments on these media stories.

    Sri Lankan career diplomats deserve much more respect by the Colombo Telegraph readers than being called stooges.

    • 3


      “Sri Lankan career diplomats deserve much more respect by the Colombo Telegraph readers than being called stooges.”

      How did these career diplomats get into foreign service in the first place. Do you think they secured their job without pulling any strings?

      My Elders are of the opinion that even in the mid 1960’s its a question of whom did you know rather than what did you know.

      Its about the scale of nepotism we are discussing here.

    • 3

      You call Maheshini C, Prasad K, Ravivinatha Aand Aliyar Azeez the “CREAM” of the foreign service probably tounge in cheek.Yes they are the cream if you mistake cum as cream!
      Let’s assume they were not cum but real cream and take a look at each one of them 1)Maheshini Colonne – Did really well in period 2005-2015 January by carrying tales to Sajin Vass about her own colleagues .She nearly ended up in Mr Ranils office through her brother who works in the Defence Ministry until the PM stopped it as he was told who Maheshini really was and her actual capability been well below par.Her talents lie at split level – just ask Prasad K and he will tell you.Prasad K- last man in 1980 batch came in actually because too a favour his father had done to a VIP ,even though he is weak in English and is no where in the calibre of Jayantha Dhanapala or Devinda Subasinghe inter as of personality and ability.PK famously said he did not see Sajin slap Nonis even though he was seated right next to him!!!3) Ravinatha Ariyasinhe- Came into the Foreign Service on account of a word put on his behalf by Ananda Tissa de Alwis.Survived by his wits and was even dumped by Lakshaman Kadirgamar when he found out Ravi A was a fraud and parasite.Ask Lionel Fernanado and he will tell you more.4)Aliyar Azeez- Got posted to Austria by doing a menials job for Sajin and survived in Austria by playing second fiddle to Shiranthi Rajapaksa brother , even though the latter was actually no 2. Azeez openly called him Sir always.

      So that’s the so called cream you are talking about.Naga please look deep and you will fine the really honiurable and capable men and women in the Foreign Sevice.The scum you refer to are nothing but cum by their own record.

    • 0


  • 2

    Chitranganee Wagiswara is trying to behave like Kshenuka in the previous regime. It is high time that the PM should interfere and put a full stop to all these nonsense.

  • 1

    Same old story.All are the same.

  • 3

    Ranil is “talk only no action”, he will not do anything that needs to be done. His track record of recent times has shown it. Either he does not know how to act or he is frightened of the repercussions.

  • 7

    Chitranganee Wagiswara is one of the most honest, decent, hardworking and dignified Officers the Foreign Ministry has ever had. Wherever she has severed as an Ambassador or a High Commissioner she has discharged her duties with absolute class, dignity style and efficiency and has been an asset to Sri Lanka. She is not a baggage or a tale carrier or an apple polisher and has come to this level through sheer hard work and honesty. She was also given an extension on reaching retirement age purely because of her high work ethics and efficiency much to the dismay of certain officials in the Foreign Ministry who were eyeing the prestigious position of Foreign Secretary and hence all this low down mudslinging on her.

  • 0

    It is Ranil’s fault. No! It is not Ranil’s fault. Which is it?

    When the talk cannot be matched with the walk, accusing fingers are going to pointed in all directions. That is inevitable and a very Sri Lankan thing to do.

    Ranil Wickremesinghe might be an expert in Parliamentary democracy and governance. Still, he has to deal with selfish, under-educated individuals who are not interested in his opinion. They use Maithripala as the opposing axis, whenever they want to ignore anything Ranil wants done. At that stage, Ranil has to choose between his relationship with Maithri or putting the culprit on the mat.

    In the UK, most of their foreign service officers are Oxford or Cambridge graduates with multiple language capabilities. In the US most of them come out of Georgetown University in Washington DC. It is rumored that the State Department. World Bank and the UN recruit the outgoing batch, with whoever is left out, joining multi-national corporations. Even in India, their diplomats receive extensive training before being posted to A-grade capitals.

    Our bumpkins manage to survive by kissing butt, get their children educated, get a green card or residency somewhere, and then file for retirement. A few of them are University graduates and can at least justify their appointments. Their survival is a direct consequence to keeping someone happy!

    Mangala Samaraweera did not even finish his A/Ls. He spent a few years in London learning fashion design and came back to Colombo in the 80’s as Mangala Innocence. If he has a team of capable officers guiding him, then his ignorance can be managed. Based on the reporting we are all reading, that does not seem to be the case.

    Sri Lanka’s predicament in general is that we have many arm-chair experts who are as clueless and stupid as the salaried ones. For Ranil or Mangala to have capable officers, we have to produce them first.

  • 1

    Mandaley Katchal or a Tempest in a Tea Pot ? I hope it is the latter.

  • 0

    CT reports: “A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat told Colombo Telegraph even a GCE (OL) student could have written a better report than the puerile one the PM received.”

    My secret agents have managed to get parts of this report, which are appended below. After reading it you will be able to make a fair judgment on it.

    Boss came Dambadiva. All bhaiyas here like him same same our people like Salman Khan. Boss handsome, no? Not think Have problem with Ceypa. Ceypa not what that idiot man think. Ceypa hear like Sivpa but that also wrong. No Ceypa the shoe boss wearing.

    Big Bhaiya chat with boss too much long. All secret talk. We hear little here little there. My agent hear word Cheena too much time. Boss and Big laughing and say Cheena this cheena that…. (Censored by CT).

  • 1

    Just take a leaf from Lakshman Kadirgamar’s input. He did not have any hangers on when he was appointed to that post. He put in structures in place , recruited competent people with potential and trained them. This is not rocket science. We produce so much talented people in Sri Lanka. They get into the private sector or go abroad. If there is opportunity without interference and work with dignity, we can build up what we have lost over the years. It is the inferiority complex that most of these politicians as well as hangers on have. Inability to see some Junior fellow who has no political connections flourishing. Decency being competent, being forthright, have become disqualifications. Foreign Ministry can give Mr Kadirgamar’s daughter a short assignment to come and do some training activity.

  • 1

    Mr. Rani – PM: Where were you when that “One Man Investigation” cleared Mrs Kesuneka -the ex representative in Geneva of all the charges leveled against by a High Powered team from the Ministry of Finance; the Audit Department etc. That retired Audit person cleared her from all that were brought to light even without giving consideration to any of the matters in that “Damning Report” and posted her to a Foreign assignment. So please do not try to hoodwink the public with this type of outbursts. We know what you are capable of and what you would do in time to come. I feel sorry for that man named MY3.

  • 1

    Mangala’s final political game plan is with CBK & MY3.

  • 0

    [Edited out]

    • 2

      They are fighting the Asia’s longest civil war. What do they know about equal rights, good governance, and foreign relations? They are least evolved human beings. Real smart Sri Lankans can’t get a decent job or publish an article.

  • 3

    Shocking enough the footnote to this scandalous episode has just arrived.

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was travelling in a train from Kyoto to
    Tokyo. The local media representatives accompanying him complained that the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo was unhelpful to them. That is notwithstanding Ganganath Dissanayake, a UNP front liner being named Ambassador and was present.

    Prime Minister Wickremesinghe exhorted that the Foreign Ministry was of no use. He said he functioned as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in the belief that there was no Foreign Ministry in Sri Lanka. He announced that when he returns to Colombo, he will set up a new foreign service.

    There are lot of things that come out of this remark. One is that the stooges of Mangala will not be able to play their double games. Aya Amma and Ravinath
    Ariyasinha are among those who will have to find news places, perhaps in the
    diplomatic training institute.

    But there is a bigger question. These remarks come as a slap in the face of
    Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. If Wickremesinghe functions thinking there is no Foreign Ministry, quite naturally there is no Minister either.
    That is a great blow in the face of Samaraweera. What he will do is the question.

    This shows how much the stooges have humiliated Wickremesinghe and his government whilst Samaraweera the Foreign Minister had no say.

  • 1

    Well done, Ravinatha and diplomats!!!! Don’t let this traitorous RW clown destroy Sri Lanka (in his haste to send MR to the gallows)

    We are all behind you. The slap in the face of Bongala and the “prime minister” is well appreciated!

  • 0

    RW pays the price for giving undeserved prominence to a man who betrayed the previous president, his siblings in government and Sri Lankans in general at the UN.

  • 0

    Managala will be a better Prime Minister than Ranil who is old and behaving like a bull in a china shop. Mangala is very professional and you will realize this if you watch him addressing the parliament. I think the party should thinks of bringing Mangala as PM

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