7 July, 2020

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Rs 700,000 Personal Air Ticket Bonanza Courtesy Tax-Payers For Foreign Secretary Ravinatha’s Pet Saroja Sirisena

Serious questions have been raised about the current Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK Saroja Sirisena billing an exorbitantly priced air ticket to the Sri Lankan Government for personal travel undertaken for a medical procedure.

Saroja Sirisena

The air fare of nearly Rs 700,000 indicates the ticket was a business class or first class fare, billed to GOSL as an economy class ticket and approved by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha.

The irregular transaction took place when Sirisena was serving as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Austria in July-August 2019.

On 23 August 2019 Foreign Secretary Aryasinha approved a sum of Euro 3150 (Rs 637,680 at the current exchange rate) for then Ambassador to Austria Saroja Sirisena’s air travel to the United States for “medical treatment”. See proof of approval below:

According to the approval granted, Aryasinha has authorized an “Economy Class” ticket for Ambassador Sirisena. The Foreign Secretary failed to respond to questions posed to him regarding this approval by Colombo Telegraph.

However the sum of money involved makes it clear the air ticket was for business class travel, fraudulently submitted to the Government of Sri Lanka for approval as an economy class fare. Even in peak travel times, air tickets between Vienna and the US (New York JFK Airport) cost between 600-1000 Euro.

Aryasinha’s close association with Sirisena appears to have led him to pass this airfare on to the state coffers as an “economy class air ticket” in order to mislead Government auditors. Together both officials may have committed fraud against the Government of Sri Lanka, a criminal offence.

But sources told Colombo Telegraph that the Foreign Secretary should not have approved Sirisena’s request for reimbursement of air travel expenses to begin with. Financial regulations prohibit paying public officers back for personal air travel expenses. Financial regulations governing public officials are also explicit that a medical procedure which is not an emergency must be authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore if the medical procedure is not available at the station at which the diplomat is posted, the officer must return to Sri Lanka for treatment.

Ravinatha Aryasinha and Saroja Sirisena | File photo

Bafflingly Saroja Sirisena had left Colombo to take up her post in Vienna only in July 2019. Less than a month later she took off to the United States for her medical treatment. It is unclear if this medical procedure was not possible in Sri Lanka prior to her departure Vienna, which would have saved the Sri Lankan Government hundreds of thousands of rupees in airfare at the least.

Colombo Telegraph learns that Ms. Sirisena travelled from Vienna, Austria to Seattle, USA for an eye procedure, part of which was reportedly elective. The procedure is reported to have cost tens of thousands of US dollars, but it remains unclear whether the Government of Sri Lanka incurred this expense on her behalf.

Questions posed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Colombo Telegraph about this matter went answered.

Some details about this story have already appeared in the gossip columns of a prominent English Daily newspaper in Sri Lanka. According to the column Sirisena’s medical treatment had also been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a massive cost to the Sri Lankan tax-payer. However Colombo Telegraph is unable to independently confirm this claim so far since the Foreign Secretary has not responded to the questions posed. A document we are able to publish with this report however indicates that the air travel was certainly approved by Aryasinha.

According to informed sources in the Government Saroja Sirisena has a history of billing the Sri Lankan Government for cosmetic expenses. As a junior diplomat in Paris, France in 2000, Sirisena was reportedly reprimanded for attempting to claim reimbursement for cosmetic products by claiming they were medication.

Saroja Sirisena was appointed Spokesperson to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and director of International Media relations during the October 2018 attempted coup. Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena illegally ousted Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as his purported Premier, high level changes took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retired Career diplomat Prasad Kariyawasam was sacked as Foreign Secretary and Ravinatha Aryasinha, who had been an ardent follower of the Rajapaksa Doctrine on Foreign Policy replaced him by the order of the President.

Saroja Sirisena became Aryasinha’s right hand during the coup. Aryasinha and Saroja Sirisena worked together closely when the now Foreign Secretary was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brussels. Saroja worked as an official under him.

Earlier this year Aryasinha recalled Manisha Gunasekera as Sri Lanka’s High Commission to the UK in order to replace her with Saroja Sirisena. Gunasekera is known to be a highly skilled and exceedingly knowledgeable professional diplomat was summarily recalled from London despite the tremendous work she had done to enhance bilateral relations. Gunasekera had served less than two years of her term and her appointment to London as Ambassador was approved by an independent transfer board.

No reasons were given for Gunasekera’s recall. However Colombo Telegraph learns that Saroja Sirisena also a career diplomat has always been a staunch ally of the SLPP within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was previously married to UPFA MP Dilan Perera and is currently wedded to a British citizen Sudath Talpahewa. This may have played a significant role in the transfer of Saroja Sirisena from Vienna to London soon after the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Colombo Telegraph emailed Foreign Secretary Aryasinha on 5 May 2020 to the following email addresses: sfa@mfa.gov.lk and ravinatha.aryasinha@mfa.gov.lk

These were the questions we posed to the Foreign Secretary with reference to this payment he authorized for Sirisena’s air-travel:

1. What was the nature of the air travel approved by you at a cost of Euro 3150 to the Sri Lankan Government?

2. Was the travel airfare approved by you on 23 August 2019 considered to be emergency travel?

3. If the travel was for medical reasons was there no option for this medical procedure to be performed in Austria or Sri Lanka?

4. Did the Ministry in addition to the airfare also approve payment for the medical procedure?

6. If the procedure was not an emergency, were three quotations for airfare sent to the ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval as mandated by government regulations?

7. When did Ms. Saroja Sirisena assume office as Ambassador to Austria?

8. On which airline and which airline class did Ms. Saroja Sirisena travel on at a fare of 3150 Euros? Was the Ministry presented with an invoice for an economy class ticket at this cost?

9. What was the date of travel on this airline at this airline fare?

We are in possession of information that as Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have approved a payment of 3150 Euros as airfare for Saroja Sirisena on 23, August 2019. We also understand that Ms. Sirisena assumed office as Ambassador to Vienna in July 2019.

Regarding this payment to Ms Sirisena we are reliably made to understand that the travel was for purposes of medical treatment. It is also understood that such travel is not normally reimbursed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even though the medical treatment itself may qualify for reimbursement or insurance coverage.

With regard to the following we seek the following clarifications from you prior to publication.

(By Chinthika De Silva)

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Latest comments

  • 46
    3

    If I am correct, there was news in the media during Rajapakse presidency, money sent to Namal Rajapakse to party and dance Baila in US was funded by Central Bank and it was routed by Cabraal through Ravinath with the knowledge of Sajin Vass and G.L.Pieris. It appears Ravinath is not a clean person.

  • 46
    6

    Great work CT!
    \
    It is revealing more of this kind of corruption/favouritism and nepotism that you should be engaged more in, to defend our democracy.
    \
    Full credit to this great expose, please follow up and keep CT readers informed.

    • 13
      7

      Helios

      *** You have flipped your hat. Keep taking the medicine the ” Toilet Water” unfilterd with all the crumps.

      • 5
        14

        Mr. Kali.
        /
        You have flipped over too…..
        What happened to the American Citizen Bullshit….?

        • 14
          1

          Pasqual

          American Citizenshop is a Bullshit on the part of whoever published it. It was fake as the story was that Gothas name appeared in the list of those who Expatriated which USA never publishes. We will find out soon.

          • 10
            2

            Pasqual you are a liar, google and see. US Govt publishes this report on a regular basis covering the previous quarter.

            • 0
              5

              Mr. Buddhist1,
              /
              A person got caught lying accusing me…..
              And
              I am not going to worry about how US government handle their documentation.

            • 11
              1

              There was a comment earlier in CT that when she takes office in London, it will be a cabaret club. We are eagerly waiting to join in the fun.

          • 0
            6

            Mr. Kali,
            /
            You guys are dreaming in funny ways…..

  • 28
    2

    The matter is serious. I would not doubt the authenticity of the fax message appearing in CT. From the wording it is clear that Ms. Sirisena is to be reimbursed an amount of Euro 3152. Clearly then, Ms. Sirisena should have produced all the documentation for such reimbursement. It is not out of place to request all this information under the RTI Act. Secondly an Audit Investigation must commence. However, the other statements amounting closeness of relationship between persons and a photograph of the two minus the background is of bad taste and shows that there are parties in the MFA who have an axe to grind on both of them. On the contrary, previous instances of “over-invoicing” reimbursements of expenses do count in these matters to establish “Kleptocracy”.

  • 7
    30

    Are you guys this much bankrupt….?
    Now you guys are trying to blame “yahapalana” oversights to SLPP.
    09/01/2015 to 26/10/2018 – Yahapalana setup.
    26/10/2018 to 15/12/2018 – Attempted take over.
    15/10/2018 to 21/11/2019 – Yahapalana setup.
    And….
    Saroja Sirisena is a career diplomat who was in service since 1998.

    • 11
      36

      ————————————————————————————
      Now is the time for Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole to resign from the election commission.
      He has no rights what so ever to stay in that position.
      He…..
      Being a US citizen himself…..
      Knowing very well how to renounce a US citizenship…..
      And the gang around him…….
      While being a member of the election commission……
      Repeatedly accused GR of his citizenship status.
      He…
      Shamelessly tried to use his position and status to block GR from contesting in the last presidential election to satisfy his fellow minority manipulators and political sympathizers.
      And Gamini Viyangoda and Chandraguptha Thenuwara ought to be send to gallows.
      ————————————————————————————

  • 28
    8

    This buggers parents were a very classy decent couple.
    The Father Mithra Ariyasingha retired as a senior DIG of the police joined as a direct ASP straight after university graduation whilst the mother was a dutch burgher.
    =
    To date, I was not aware that this time one Radio Ceylon announcer ever had the qualifications needed to enter into the foreign service department of the nation.
    Mysteriously things of this nature take place in this sad sorry shitty country where a right loose connection does work wonders.
    =
    As a radio station announcer disc jockey in the station’s English division, he is highly proficient in the Queen’s lingo due to his mother’s ethnicity and is and has bullshitted his way with verbal diarrhoea on many an occasion.
    =
    To me, he’s not fit to be a foreign secretary but in rajapuk’s land buggers of this calibre to ensure that their ships have a smooth sailing even in rough treacherous waters.?.
    =
    If this privileged village sounding surname Sinhala lass has done the wrong this she along with Ariyasingha should walk the plank without any monetary compensation.
    =
    In fairness to her job status, she’s entitled to a First or Business class ticket. As for personal eye modification or beautifying herself am positive that she’s not entitled to the benefit of government funds.
    =

    • 18
      9

      Well, now we know where the caddish genes have come from! From his father’s side, with a name like ‘Arya’ +’Singhe’ he would have inherited noble genes.
      ]
      But the sad story is that our great Aryan genes have been corrupted, diluted by European invaders through rape and common wives scandals.
      ]
      In this guy’s case, it is obvious that he was burdened with some caddish (burger) genes from the mother’s side!
      So he can’t help it, poor bugger.

      • 2
        3

        Dear rj1952,
        .
        I’m almost certain that you have made mistakes about Ravinatha Aryasinha’s parents. Note spellings.
        .
        Around 1982, spread well over a year, I taught Ravinatha in their then Borella home, and met his parents. Let me explain.
        .
        He organised a group of seven or eight, and I taught them Peradeniya University External GAQ Philosophy. About three hours on Saturdays. Finding a guy who could teach Philosophy in English was extremely difficult, and at that time I was able to undertake it because I had done it properly two years previously.
        .
        That’s as much Philosophy as either of us did. I think that he completed an external Political Science Special, while I had converted to an Internal English Special. External students endured long delays.
        .
        I googled and found a lot about the distinguished policeman.
        .
        http://www.island.lk/2010/01/02/opinion3.html
        .
        Please google for information on both families, and please be mindful of the need to use language better!

        Ravinatha’s father used to work for the Department of Meteorology, and now lives in Pita-Kotte. I have had no contact with any of them for the past 25 years.

        • 1
          4

          Sinhala _Man,
          In 1975 /77, I was employed as a Marketing Executive for Brown & Co.Ltd, once of the customers I used to call on was a Paint Centre in Bambalapitiya opposite the market.
          =
          The Manager was a Burgher gentleman with whom I developed a client/service provider relationship.
          =
          He definitely told me that his son in law was the DIG of the Police force by that name and that his by the given name of Mithra was a radio announcer at Radio Ceylon which in the seventies became SLBC.
          =
          I am positive about it. Cheers, R. J.

        • 2
          2

          Sinhala_Man { gentleman }.
          I followed your instructions and read the said article.
          Thank you.
          +
          If you read my postings, I only write nothing but the truth about the corrupt Rajapaksa clan and their cohorts.
          +
          `I am not a racist, my only child the apple of my eye hopefully till death do me part has a Sinhala lady as her mother.
          I have tons of Sinhalese as my mates more than my own race and I have found them to be loyal comrades.
          +
          During the 1983 racial riots, I was renting a house belonging to the son in law of the Ranatunga family, their son Susantha protected me and a few other Tamil’s from any harm and he insisted that I should not move to a hotel or elsewhere…
          +
          Coming back to the topic I have tons of time for DIG Ariyasingha, he was a fantastic gentleman of a Police officer and I have only heard glowing tributes about him from my uncle and friends in the said force.
          Take care and awaiting your response. Cheers, R. J..

    • 3
      2

      Dear rj1952,
      .
      I’m almost certain that you have made mistakes about Ravinatha Aryasinha’s parents. Note spellings.
      .
      Around 1982, spread well over a year, I taught Ravinatha in their then Borella home, and met his parents. Let me explain.
      .
      He organised a group of seven or eight, and I taught them Peradeniya University External GAQ Philosophy. About three hours on Saturdays. Finding a guy who could teach Philosophy in English was extremely difficult, and at that time I was able to undertake it because I had done it properly two years previously.
      .
      That’s as much Philosophy as either of us did. I think that he completed an external Political Science Special, while I had converted to an Internal English Special. External students endured long delays.
      .
      I googled and found a lot about the distinguished policeman.
      .
      http://www.island.lk/2010/01/02/opinion3.html
      .
      Please google for information on both families, and please be mindful of the need to use language better!

      Ravinatha’s father used to work for the Department of Meteorology, and now lives in Pita-Kotte. I have had no contact with any of them for the past 25 years.
      .
      Sorry for earlier messing up bold lettering.

      • 1
        3

        Sinhala _ Man,
        Can you please tell me on this forum or by email to – goldfinger331@gmail.com as to I could use bold fonts on a posting as and when I need to do so.
        =
        Any other follower of this much-esteemed website is or are welcome to let me know as I am not a computer savvy yokel.
        Thanks, cheers, R. J.

        • 1
          1

          SECTION A
          .
          Dear rj1952,

          .
          I’ve always believed in sharing what I know, although it usually means that some people aren’t even grateful.
          .
          In your case, I know that you will be grateful, but I don’t think that you are likely to be careful enough! Anyway, this is how a conscientious person could, presumably, learn how to employ bold and italics.
          .
          https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_formatting.asp
          .
          I can’t type in the symbols properly here, because if properly typed in they will not be visible. I’m warning you that this is dangerous – no, not dangerous the way that coronavirus is dangerous – but if it goes wrong, lots of readers will start cursing you!
          .
          What you have to remember is that if you enable a feature, you must also disable it. If not, everything below your comment gets into bold or italics as the case may be.
          .
          In the case of the comment that went wrong, I forgot to cancel “bold” between the words “parents” and “Note” in the second line. To cancel, I should have typed
          .

        • 1
          1

          SECTION B
          .
          Oh, dear
          The symbols that I typed in haven’t appeared at the end of Section A! Look, young man of 68! {I’m older!}. We’ve got to learn how to act our age. I have just learnt that symbols, as opposed to words and numerals, cannot be put into CT comments.
          .
          We want the following people to retire from politics, don’t we? Ranil, Chamal, Mahinda, Gota, Gamini Lakshman, John Amaratunga, Fouzi. However, I think that Sambandan still has a role to play!
          .
          In like manner, we too, have to prepare for the grave. Please don’t dare tell me that I will have “eternal life”. No re-birth, either. I don’t believe such rot. Nirvana? Well, yes, like the poor slaughtered animal!
          .
          Now that the secret is out – I’m going to be unkind to you. Don’t use this! It’s like giving a razor to a monkey.
          .
          There, I’ve called you a monkey! All in fun! I hope that you have a sense of humour!! Also, I hope that you have compared my two comments and realise that having too much in bold makes reading more difficult. It is also selfish.

        • 1
          1

          SECTION C
          .
          I will email you tomorrow
          . Colombo Telegraph obviously knows my regular email address, and also has my photograph. They insist on all that if you write an article – unless you are an extra-special writer like “Tisaranee Gunasekara” or “Grusha Andrews”. Well, the editor will have photographs, but they are not displayed!
          .
          Best wishes to all who have learnt to use some of the HTML symbols. I don’t experiment with the others. We must know our place in the scheme of things. Understand that the tiny coronavirus is mightier than “us” (no, no, when we were in school we were told that we should write “we” – in line with some Latin construction – “we are”. Sounds odd!)
          .
          My advice on an inconsequential subject: don’t use bold!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka Sinhala_Man

      • 1
        1

        PART ONE

        Dear rj1952,
        .
        I’m not calling into question the veracity of what you are now reporting. However, I repeat that you are mistaken regarding the identity of Ravinatha Aryasinha’s parents.
        .
        Please start by re-reading your most recent comment.
        .
        “that . . . (?) his by
        .
        Please locate that phrase in your penultimate paragraph. Do you realise that you have written so carelessly that nobody can understand what you mean?
        .
        The only link that I have given you is to an article by “Mithra Ariyasinghe, Retired senior DIG”. I had never heard of this man until I googled. There are plenty of other references to him, including discussion of his non-promotion as IGP, etc. I have asked you to note spellings [of names].
        .
        At the time I was teaching Ravinatha he was already reading the news, and a few years later I used to see him interviewing various politicians etc. In 1982, he may have been as young as 22 years. If so, he’d be 60 now. What you have told me is something about somebody called Mithra being a radio announcer before a “Burgher gentleman” became your friend not later than 1977.

      • 1
        1

        PART TWO
        .
        There doesn’t seem to be a Wikipedia entry on Ravinatha, but there are plenty of facts here:
        .
        https://www.mfa.gov.lk/the-ministry/secretary-foreign-affairs/
        .
        I’m only telling you that you have made a mistake. It is possible that, superficially, I will be supporting the same people as you etc – but it is likely to be for different reasons.
        .
        Assuming that you were born in 1952, you are no longer a young man. It is cause for concern that even at this age you write carelessly, and employ so much of scatology. See here:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/election-against-democracy/
        .
        The article is by Tissaranee Gunasekera, who writes excellent English. Yours, by contrast – well judge for yourself. I have only asked you not to use “dirty words” and ugly sexually explicit imagery. Your writing also teems with ungrammatical English.

        Postscript: I’ve been having some “computer problems” – and so this comment that had been written couldn’t be posted. I know that you are a really good man. I’m sure that you remember how Harsha Gunasena suddenly turned on you without justification. But he, too, is a good man. Have you seen his article on Sambandan? People like us are taking risks.

      • 4
        1

        Mr Sinhala_Man,
        Thank you very much for all your attempts in endeavouring to educate me an idiot how to download and use bold letters.
        I am very very grateful.
        Thanking you, Cheers. R. J.

  • 7
    29

    Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese Aryans the same as the Arab world belongs to Arabs. We Sinhalese now knows who robbed the wealth of the Heladive (Sri Lanka) last 75 years. Tamils are telling “Sinhalaya Modaya, Kevun Kanta Yodaya” and these Tamils Cheated Sinhalese last 75 years and robbed Sinhalese Aryan country

    • 14
      8

      Perera

      *** You Idiot Sinkala Lanka belongs to Sinkalams. Tamil Eelam belongs to Tamils and Sri Lanka as a Country belongs to India as she controls Sri Lanka due to her proximity.
      Sri Lankas Sovereignty is Limited to Indias Security. Why do you think India muscled in to boot the Cheenavedi out when MR calved out large parts to China. Never forget your room for manouevre is limited just like Cuba . Kennedy threatened 3rd World War when Kruchev planted Missiles.

    • 12
      4

      If you read the article carefully, you will learn who is robbing whom…

    • 9
      4

      N. Pererass

      “Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese Aryans the same as the Arab world belongs to Arabs.”

      “Arab world belongs to Arabs”- maybe.

      “Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese Aryans”

      If you seriously believe in Aryan land why don’t to explore the North of Hindia, or Bundesrepublik Deutschland Repuvlika Federala de Almania.
      Else you should be making arrangement to return to your ancestral native land in South India.

      “We Sinhalese now knows who robbed the wealth of the Heladive (Sri Lanka) last 75 years.”

      The Sinhala/Buddhist converts from South India continue to rob this island of ours.

    • 2
      1

      Oh, my God!
      .
      Brown “N. Perera” who has mostly Dravidian genes, believes that he is an Aryan!
      .
      Look, Perera, “Aryan” has a meaning in Linguistics – Sanskrit is an “Indo-Aryan” language. Adolf Hitler was as much of an idiot as Donald Trump. He began talking about the “noble Aryans”. Drew on some things that this guy talked about.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel
      .
      and this rot:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cbermensch
      .
      It was fashionable in some circles, around 1910. Anagarika Dharmapala fell for it. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for Lanka, Dharmapala died in 1933. Why did I say that?
      .
      Because had he lived upto the time that Nazism was recognised as evil, all that was bad in Dharmapala would have been recognised. As it is, schools are named after him!
      .
      Why unfortunate for Lanka? All of us “Sri Lankans” would have been more rational and lived in peace, if the follies preached by Dharmapala had been recognised.
      .
      I’m sure that genetically I’m mostly Dravidian, with lots of Veddah, and little bits of Caucasian (illegitimate, of course), Arab, and Negroid genes. Goes for all inhabitants of this island, more or less.
      .
      Poor, deluded, N. Perera!

  • 12
    11

    If this turns out to be true it would indeed be most disappointing. I always considered HC SIRISENA to be an outstanding woman. Willing to give the benefit of the doubt as CT can be irresponsible in the reporting.

  • 8
    36

    Since I am completely ignorant of the matter, I shall not venture a word on the subject. However, as for the appointment of Saroja Sirisena as our HC in the UK, I have to say that I was delighted to hear of it and could not have thought of a better choice– and I say this as one who has criticised aspects of the foreign policy perspective and practice of this new administration. Saroja Sirisena is among the very best of our diplomats, especially our younger diplomats.

    • 14
      5

      Dayan

      and I say this as one who has criticised aspects of the foreign policy perspective and practice of this new administration. Saroja Sirisena is among the very best of our diplomats, especially our younger diplomats.

      *** If what you say is true can you tell me how she has managed to evade Gothas Radar . Is it because Gotha likes a bit of a Crumpet.

    • 4
      22

      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka,
      /
      Yes.
      \
      And she came up hard way in a male-dominated field.

    • 5
      2

      Is that only Saroja?

      What happened to Rajiva, Khsunuka, Tamara, Sajin, Chris Norris……? Didn’t they all criticized Aanduwa’s foreign policy? Chris Norris, after promoting his tea trade in Europe, just resigned criticizing Old Royal’s Foreign Policy. He didn’t hang on to Champaign and Vodka to be approved by Ariyanatha. Did he?

      • 6
        0

        Mallaiyuran.
        Your question about Khenuka, she thriving well now renting an apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan. She knows how to survive with any govt. by apple polishing,boot licking etc. She worked as a kitchen maid to Namal baby,then under yahapalanaya was sent to Bangkok because Mangala S. is not a revengeful person. There she met Chaturika Sirisena, worked as a baggage carrier to Chathurika every time she went to Bangkok,got the Ambassador post to NY and moved to Trump Tower spending enormous amount of poor people’s money.Previous apartment was a very good one with a reasonable rent, so many of our Ambassadors lived in that. One thing is she is not vicious as Saroja. Kshenuka wants to get her things done through whomever who is in power by becoming even a doormat. No dignity. Her uncle a distinguished politician Colvin R. de Silva must be cursing her lowlife from his grave. Once a Singaporean diplomat was put in the jail for inflating expenses of pineapple tarts and wine. Our public money wasters should be whipped in public. But with our leaders it is just a wishful thought. That is why always our country is in the trench.

    • 9
      1

      DJ,
      .
      So tell us what is the purpose of your comment ?.
      .
      You too were talented once upon a time as a diplomat – you are all entitled not to abuse the tax payers funds unncessarily. May well be President Sirisena learned it from Mahinda Rajakashe.
      :
      We know how Mahinda Rajakshe regime wasted unestimated funds for that CHOGUM. And how he let his abusive WIFE (alleged to be complicit in that RUGBY player misterious murder) spent a lavished life on the cost of the tax payers. How her brother sucked srilanken airlines.. remember ?

    • 5
      2

      Dayan and Saroja are both golayas of Ravinath. Only because of Ravinath Dayan got his appointment as HC. So Dayan is protecting Saroja so that Ravinath gets protected at the end.

      • 3
        0

        Buddhist,
        .
        How can DJ be a Golaya of anyone going by his self-proclamations and self adulations ?
        .
        My conscience says that DJ should be above RA and Saroja S.
        .
        And what happened to that Tamara C ?
        and Mr Know-all Prof. Rweejesinghe ?

  • 24
    4

    What goes around comes around.
    Ariyasinghe and Saroja were plotting against their own colleagues Manisha Gunasekara, Prasad Kariyawasam, A.L.A. Azeez and some other officers. Many in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say Ariyasinghe was the one who gave selected confidential ACSA, MCC documents to Iqbal Athas and Bandula Jayasekara to brand Kariyawasam as an American agent though all the agreement drafts were done in a legal, transparent manner. Saroja had given the selected information to Wimal W. to defame Kariyawasam in the Parliament. Manisha Gunasekara is a very decent, honest public official, not a corrupt crook who did not rob public money for her beautification, and Kariyawasam too had an unblemished career as a dedicated, honest and capable diplomat. What Ariyasinghe and Saroja did to those officers, who happened to be their own colleagues, was unpardonable. Like COVID-19 is punishing the whole world for abusing Mother Nature, whoever who try to harm guiltless people one day will get it back.
    Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

  • 15
    8

    Country’s foreign service is the most prestigious department and it is the bounden duty of the higher ups to maintain its status at highest level. Therefore washing the dirty linen in public will bring down country’s reputation badly. It is also disheartened to note that an internal memo which is generally confidential has been published herein is no doubt a breech of security. This exposes the hopeless state of affairs that prevails in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An ambassador or a High Commissioner deserves to travel on business class no matter whether he or she is off duty. There is nothing that is drastically wrong here.

    • 9
      1

      Paramanathan, It is true any country’s Foreign Service is the most prestigious,when the country is govern by law and order. Can you say our country belong to that category any longer?It is wrong to breech the confidentiality and publish this internal memo.But what about very sensitive documents related to ACSA and MCC waving around by media personalities like Iqbal etc. not very long ago? Do you know those were given to media by this very Foreign Secretary to gain personal benefits?This same lady gave documents to SLPP MP? Now they are also getting it back. One reaps what one sows.This is natural justice. Ambassador can travel on any class for private matters as long as the funds coming from one’s own pocket. When it’s public money, they have to follow the Establishment Code.If this report is true, this is total financial misappropriation.For that,in a country run by law and order, these two officials should get interdicted and face a court case. If it proves,they even can lose their pension.That would have happened in yesteryear when our country was run by true patriotic leaders who abode by law and order,and believed all are equal in eye of law, not anymore.Shame.

    • 2
      1

      Unless the dirt of the Govt and the Foreign Services is washed in public, they will not realize how the civilians feel about them as they always live in a bubble.

  • 18
    4

    Yes, Saroja doesn’t look first class. She is definitely the economy type. What is she going to do with all this cosmetic refurbishing? Ravinatha should be fired for poor taste in pet selection, causing diplomatic embarrassment to the country. Sira the evil clown should be given his own sting-ray treatment for starting the whole sordid saga by appointing these pathetic people in the first place.

  • 18
    5

    Why are all the career racists all silent when dirt like this comes out?

    They are forever blaming every woe in Sri Lanka on the minorities. Now that ‘sir’ is broke as hell most of us wonder if he’s going to put Tamils, Muslims and Christians on the chopping block to save face (again).

    • 3
      16

      Mr. Max Payne,
      /
      Yes.
      That is what “Yahapalana” Gang, Civil Society Gang and Minority Manipulators do when something dirty comes out.
      \
      And……
      /
      ‘sir’ “RW” is not broke. He is well equipped with spoils from “Tea Estate” deals and “Bond Scam”.
      \
      And…. Yes….
      /
      Tamils, Muslims and Christians should be careful.
      “Black July”………
      “JVP insurrection”……..
      “Easter Sunday Bombing”………
      And things like that happens when RW and UNP are in trouble.

    • 12
      4

      Max

      I agree with you. It is in their Gene and we can only change their habit by Gene Mutation. Keep reading the news and can you alert Boris Johnson never to Engage with Gotha a CRIMINAL What worries me is the appointment of the MP with a Sinhalese ancestry as under secreary to the Trade Minister and no doubt Gotha and Cohorts will be canvassing him to get closer to Tory Elite. I will be writing to Borris and Raab of the sinister move by Gotha who has been an outcaste up to now.

      • 9
        4

        I should have said thank you Mr.Payne all be it belated

    • 8
      3

      Max Payne

      You have raised very good point.
      Remember the following popular saying among the secular Sinhalese:

      Kill the Veddah, Rob the Buddah, Blame the Sudda (White Man).

  • 8
    15

    What’s the big deal, I don’t understand.
    Who is the target here? Ravinatha?
    Why? Is there a Major General waiting to take over here, as well?
    Clearly shown in the fax referred to in the article, no personal favour was accorded to Ambassador Saroja Sirisena by the Secretary/Foreign Affairs.
    It’s just a routine approval.
    The ticket price mentioned in the fax seems to be for a “full-fare economy class return air ticket”, for which the Ambassador is fully entitled.
    The cost of eye surgeries are normally covered by the Government, along with related travel expenses, if such medical facilities are not available in the country of accreditation.
    I don’t see any foul play here other than a sinister attempt to discredit the Secretary/Foreign Affairs for a reason not clear to me.
    Ravinatha Aryasinha is one of the many in the Foreign Service whose integrity, professionalism and capability were never in question.
    The Sri Lanka Foreign Service is tainted by political interference and absurdly contradictory orders from political leaders, throughout its history.
    For decades, Foreign Service officials had to serve the country in the most difficult security situations and often intervene in damage control caused by unwise political decisions.
    Our Foreign Service Officers who serve the country quietly, deserve honours and thanks, not unsubstantiated personal attacks.

    • 9
      3

      Champawati,

      You are like a drunkard, writes irrationally. First read the essay once more as all your questions are well answered in that. In fact, most of the questions you raising are just reversing the answers, but not contesting the answers. For example, fax is for to prove Ravinatha approved a travel ticket which was not an allowed expense for the employee. The ticket purchased was Business class. The price is the evidence for that. Essay says that too. Ravinatha did not claim back the balance, the difference of Economy class and Business class. That is clear evidence Ravinitha participated in that racketeering with the employee.
      Can you produce a copy of the actual airline ticket reading as Economy Class?
      Can you attach a copy of the procedure carried on the eye was a medical necessity not a facial cosmetic operation.
      Can you attach copy of government code of approved expenses for staffs?

      In reality What you are contesting in the essay?

  • 17
    3

    Tax payer of Srilanka paid billions to put up big cut outs around Srilanka of Mahinda. Rubavahini spent billions for his propaganda paid by tax payers. Gotabaya put of a memorial stadium for his father for billions paid by tax payers. Compare to this, this is nothing.

    • 4
      3

      Ajith:
      I am with you on this. Further she did this in the best interest of the country. With so many accused war criminals flying around she wanted to smell trouble before it happened but with a crooked nose that was not possible, so she went for elective surgery.
      Be grateful this woman went under the knife to serve you.

  • 6
    2

    The Photo to this expose shows young Ravinatha Ariyasinha and not so young Saroja Sirisena in deep contemplation.

    How on earth did the CT OBTAIN THIS DAMNING INFORMATION?
    Perhaps, the easiest way to fix those in Service is to examine their Travelling, and Subsistence CLAIMS,which in most instances are in the realms of FICTION!

    • 2
      5

      Plato

      “The Photo to this expose shows young Ravinatha Ariyasinha and not so young Saroja Sirisena in deep contemplation.”

      What are you trying to insinuate?

    • 2
      2

      Embassies secure mail.
      There is nothing confidential in Sri Lanka, you can obtain anything for a price. :)

  • 12
    5

    WOW, amazing, A shit hole like no other. She could not get the mole removed in Lanka , not in Austria but had to go all the way to USA (why Lankans always go to US , the country which they hate so much for health issues ??????). Priority states Most Immediate ????? was it piles ????or simple mole ??????In a narrow window of time all that Rajapaksas and his followers did was to swindle the treasury. Let the public wait and watch the outcome, now that they have been given unlimited time and the keys to the treasury.

    • 9
      4

      ‘Hating America/the West’ is just a gimmick. We all know where their wealth is all shored-up…

    • 4
      3

      She wouldn’t get plastic surgery in Austria for the fear of them giving a Jewish, droopy nose, and the same reason probably stopped her form going to New York.
      /
      She wouldn’t want a nose like that of those Galagedara mulattoes!

  • 10
    3

    I hear Weerabandara who is in today,s news will soon join this lady as diplomat , so that he will get his free business class ticket to travel to USA for a hair transplant. His purpose is over, now that GR is president. With current situation this crook may turn liability in coming election because of his mismanagement. Hence GMOA has planned this move in connivance with Rajapaksas.

  • 10
    3

    Besides the ticket and other misdemeanours, isn’t it totally unethical for Ms. Sirisena to be High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in a country where her husband is a citizen?

    I wonder the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were aware of this when she was appointed.

    • 5
      2

      It is also unethical for an American citizen to be President of Sri Lanka, but the rules have been bent to suit their dishonest purposes.

  • 7
    2

    She is a mega dupe.
    Right after she was appointed to UK, there were essays about her incompetency for that job level.

    When Tamil women are being beaten in the Colombo buses for wearing Pottu and they are quitting because of that pressure, how is this women is wearing. That is telling how Sinhala Buddhist Intellectual species abuse their privileges in Wild Life Sanctuary SinhaLE Lankawe. .

    I am jealous. I am a victim, beaten pulled from the bus in 1977 for weaning Pottu after I visited Kottahena Muttu Mari Amman Kovil. This not just “Sinhala Only Jury justice”, but beyond that.

  • 7
    2

    So, back to the good old days of dogs from Germany being flown back by a Sri Lankan airlines empty plane, plane loads of Rajapaksa thugs and family ousting passengers and taking over entire flights, their cronies given top positions, and in return they abuse their powers and rip off the country, and now look at this shameless woman. Corruption, cronyism, lies, cover ups, and arrogance.

    Look Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa’s are back!

    To think they accused to previous regime of the same, but this is worse. Together with corruption we also find racism, and war criminals pardoned, or given top posts, to ensure the Rajapaksa’s have their thugs, and even murderers in place, to protect and support them. The media has also got their warning signals.

    Forget about free and fair elections.

    Let the dictatorship begin.

    • 7
      1

      Let us not forget the last time the nepotism that led to the removal of career diplomats being removed, and replaced with cronies and family members….how can we forget their beloved relative Jaliya Wickremasuriya who was given a prestigious appointment as Ambassador to the US, where he disgraced his country by resorting to what the Rajapaksa’s do best – Steal.

      “The indictment, filed under seal on May 1, 2018, charges Wickramasuriya with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of visa fraud. The charges stem from allegations that in early 2013, Wickramasuriya and others embezzled about US $332,000 from the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) in connection with a property purchased in Washington D.C. that was intended to serve as the new Sri Lankan embassy. He was also charged with committing immigration fraud in connection with an immigration application that he signed in the United States in 2014.”

      This is the calibre of those who surround the Rajapaksa’s, and it is only the beginning. Much more to come.

  • 3
    0

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be given the most prominence place due its delicate nature of its diplomatic affairs of our country. In other countries prospective cardres are recruited on highest merits and selected and put on extensive training. The mission statement of our Foreign Ministry is as follows: ” The promotion, projection and protection of Sri Lanka’s national interests internationally, in accordance with the foreign policy of the Government and to advise the Government on international developments which affect Sri Lanka”. In contrasts in our country diplomatic positions are filled according to the whims and fancies of the political leader sacrificing quality of standards and by displeasing the ambitious in-house experts who are qualified and experienced. Most often retired Military officers and police officers are posted as diplomats in key overseas missions which is the key deterioration in foreign service.

  • 9
    1

    rj1952,
    You are off about the parents.This guy’s father was Lionel Ariyasinha who worked at Meteorological Dept as a clerical officer. Not the retired senior DIG Mithra Ariyasingha.Rest is pretty much accurate. He doesn’t have a University degree, may be some external diploma from somewhere.He was a Rupavahini news reader in 1980’s. Brown nosed with politicians and got into Foreign Service. Always practiced back stabbing and brown nosing. You are very right about verbal diarrhea part, when he was staying at summit flats neighbours used to laugh saying he would come out with his cellular phone(those days it was the size of half a brick) would pretend as if talking to big shots like ministers using their names, at that time he was with his first wife. Saroja was the one who did the deal for him to become the Foreign Secretary during the illegal constitutional coup using her SLPP connections through her ex husband Dilan Perera. After that this guy has to dance according to her tune. Ministry officials say while she was the spokesperson,during staff meetings she used to argue, challenge and threaten him, as if she is the big boss. Anyone can put the pieces together.

    • 1
      3

      PART I
      .
      Dear Guruge,
      .
      I didn’t know that Ravinatha’s father’s first name was Lionel.
      At the time I was teaching him, he was dating Ramesha Balasuriya, whom he later married, and then divorced. I’m saying this now, because you speak of a “first wife”.
      .
      I have always taken some pride in the fact that I got almost all in that class through their GAQ. I think that most of them wrote “snail mails” to me, and told me their results. I can only remember distinctly that Ravinatha passed. Remember because the class was in his house – and was organised by him – and it may be because he became well-known. However, please note that despite there being a dozen comments by me here, I have neither praised nor condemned a man whom I have not met for thirty-five years. I saw the article within an hour of its coming out on the 9th, but decided to intervene only to correct Rohan Johnpillai’s incorrect surmise about Ravinatha’s parentage.
      .
      The mother died, may be two years ago. The parents were by then living in a house on 1st Cross Street, off Pagoda Road, Pita Kotte.

      • 3
        1

        Dear SM,
        .
        thank you for your posts.
        .
        As we know DJ aka Dayan Jayathilaka – also aka self-proclaimed political analyst to many – is currently the HC to SL embassay in Russia. He is a PhDer and few years senior to RA. My question would be – why could not DJ become the head of the dept ? And his colleague Tamara C was also an unbiased personality. what happened to these seniors in srilanken foreign ministry today ?

        And not being biased, DJ’s sessions in Geneva prior to 2009 should be commendable. However his brown-nosing to Rajapakshe or Premadasa families are beyond bearing. Why should he fall to the levels of Wimal Weerawanse ?

  • 0
    2

    PART II
    .
    My younger daughter,
    now in Malaysia as house-wife-cum-teacher of the kids, had lived in a house directly opposite, which belonged to my daughter’s mother-in-law. At the time of the funeral of Ravinatha’s mother, it was my daughter’s brother-in-law who lived in the house, and seeing the obituary announcement, I asked Soshan to convey my sympathies to Ravinatha. But life in the metropolis is such, he said he wasn’t going because he didn’t “know” them. O tempora, O mores! The house (on more than 20 perches of land)has now been sold.
    .
    With regard to Ravinatha’s abilities: he was intelligent and lively. Good company. I was, of course, at least ten years his senior. You are being very uncharitable in saying that he has no University Degree. It’s more difficult to do an external degree. You just don’t know what questions are coming, or even who sets the paper. My GAQ results took 51 weeks to come! For the University Dons, marking the papers is a matter of the lowest priority. I think that their inclination was to fail everybody! I had to get the Mr Sivasithamparam, M.P. to raise the matter in Parliament. I had the Hansard!

  • 1
    2

    PART III
    .
    I managed an “A” for Western Classical Culture, Bs for English, and Philosophy. Arjuna Parakrama (now English Chair, Peradeniya University) is younger than me; his first degree was an External English Special – only a 2nd Lower. However for GAQ Philosphy, he had got an A. It’s not easy to get an A . But WCC is an easy option. Mrs Moldrich was an inspiring teacher, as was Kuruvila for English at Aquinas. The Rector, Don Peter was horrible. I’m blunt! Philosophy – much more complicated.
    .
    I entered Peradeniya University as a Second Year (SAQ) student in November 1982; I was 34 years old. It was only two weeks later that about thirty “proper age” undergrads from Dumbara Campus (Polgolla) turned up. They looked down their noses at the three teachers on study leave – just as you do now, Guruge. I wasn’t bothered. The other two (women, both) were doing the shorter degree. Even for me there was some fuss by Professor Halpe.
    .
    Teachers on study leave were expected to be well-behaved fuddy-duddies. I wasn’t. If you desire it, I will link you to some CT articles where comments bear out my “bad behaviour”.

  • 0
    1

    PART IV
    .
    1983 and all that
    came before my actual SAQ exam – which I didn’t take seriously (young Gayathri did). She came first, but left for Canada after she saw the reading list for the next two years. Her mother was Tamil, and so was her boy-friend. Her elder sister, Radha de Mel, was a well-known tele-actress in the 1990s.
    .
    I too did some stage acting, and won my Tennis Colours (that’s how low the standards were!) and would have won swimming colours had there been a functioning pool. As for the next two years – well, I was the only fellow writing all the tutorials. I shared my knowledge freely (knowing that the others were hiding things from me – what to do, this is Sri Lanka!). But I was conducting no “kuppi panthi”. In my “limbo years” I had been reading widely – the to-begin-with sneering young guys formulated a theory that it was easier for older people to study to account for the fact that I was streets ahead. Not true. And they were catching up.
    .
    Qadri Ismail in the batch senior to mine wanted a First Class and got it.
    .
    https://cla.umn.edu/about/directory/profile/ismai004

  • 0
    1

    PART V
    .
    Ravi John (same batch) got no class
    (I refer here to those doing English Specials). Carman Perera (now Prof Wickremagamage) got more marks than Qadri but got only a 2nd Upper. That was the batch senior to me. I’d better think of stopping! Verbal diarrhoea Guruge will rightly say.
    .
    Anyway, I didn’t really believe that I was First Class material (age was against me, I felt) and so I got my Second Upper and the Leigh Smith Prize for coming first in the batch.
    .
    Why have I told you all this? Because, Guruge, I think it very unfair of you to castigate Ravinatha for not having been an internal university student. I say that an external can be as good.
    .
    My current politics? That’s well known to regular readers. No, to Rajapaksa autocracy. No, to racism. No, to religious bigotry.
    .
    I affirm the value of a liberal outlook; advocate tolerance, although few have tolerated me. Well. That’s life. It is eight o’ clock – a.m. I’ve been typing all night. I’d better submit and get some sleep.
    .
    From me, Panini Edirisinhe
    .
    So – Good Night will be appropriate!

  • 2
    2

    I agree with the apparent pleasure tat Dr Dayan has displayed in his approval of the appointment of Saroja Sirisena.

    In my thirty years of life in the UK and having to observe the way how the High Commission is run I agree that within this short space of time H C has displayed remarkable change of approach and attitude. Well done Saroja.

    On your eye operation I hope what they are (CT) saying is bagal.

  • 0
    1

    Ravinatha,
    .
    Willy-nilly you’d have had to study all this. For quite some time I’ve thought it would be nice to re-establish some sort of contact with you.
    .
    There is some email address listed for both you and your P.A. in your Ministry’s Official website. I’m sure that not everything sent there gets forwarded to you, but I will try. Alternatively, if you google my name (sticking carefully to the spelling), you will be able to find quite a few contact details for me.
    .
    “rj1952” is Rohan Johnpillai of Melbourne. He has given an e-mail address and I have established contact with him – but that is obviously not the way you’d want to go about establishing contact with me.
    .
    I know where your father lives. There is that convex mirror to help reverse from his house. My daughter used to live in the house just behind the mirror. But that house has been sold, I don’t know to whom.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe
    .
    Sometimes, CT edits out email addresses, but let me try:
    .
    paniniedirisinhe@gmail.com

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