Sri Lanka’s foreign policy in the post-war period parallels its domestic policy as well in the post war period, where a disproportionate amount of influence on policy by the defence bureaucracy, former Ambassador to France and Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatillake told Boston News.
In the post war period, many public pronouncements on matters pertaining Sri Lanka’s external relations made by the top defence official in the country, he said.
Jayatillake said that the current Foreign Minister was not sufficiently autonomous to articulate Sri Lanka’s foreign policy in a manner that is not confined within the narrow confines of the defence bureaucracy.
“In almost no country do you find the Foreign Ministry being dictated to or functioning as a ventriloquist dummy of the Defence bureaucracy. But in Sri Lanka this has been the case in the post-war period. And this has led to a tremendous crisis,” he explained.
“Never did Lakshman Kadirgamar take his cue on matters of policy from the deputy defence minister, there was no role for the ministry of defence in the formulation of foreign policy or Sri Lanka’s conversations with the world,” he said.