19 April, 2024


Where’s Laura Davies Looking?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

The United Kingdon’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies is a lady on the move. It’s all official of course, although in an age where diplomats double up as spies we don’t really need to place too much value on ‘official’ claims.  Still, there’s no denying that she moves around. She’s gone to the East. From Arugam Bay to Trincomalee, through Pottuvil, Oluvil, Kalmunai and Batticaloa, she says.

And through it all, she’s been looking over her shoulder. She was being watched, she says. And those she met with had to deal with ‘follow-up visits’ or ‘phone calls’, asking what she had done and said. She was saddened but not surprised that several people had been, she claims, ‘too scared to meet’ her.

Then she pontificates. She says too much security can alienate people from those who are supposed to be keeping them safe and offers that this would make it hard to rebuild trust between local communities and government. ‘It can perpetuate stereotypes and damage reconciliation,’ she adds.

Laura Davies - UK's Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

Laura Davies – UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

On the face of it Laura Davies is correct. Too much surveillance doesn’t help. Indeed, some would argue that zero-surveillance is best, except that we live in an unhappy world of trigger-happy terrorists, diplomats disguised as spies, diplomatic missions doubling up as operational headquarters for intervention of all kinds from the fermenting of rebellion to arming of insurgents to open assault.

She’s correct but she should not be surprised. She’s from Britain, isn’t she? That country knows about surveillance. And much more besides. She knows all about phone-tapping and eavesdropping, about hacking email accounts and being watched. After all her country is a client state all but in name of the United States of America. Here are two stories from way back when that would give a memory-jolt to this diplomat who is running around wearing a t-shirt with the legend ‘I am naïve’.

Years ago, two college students were getting ready for the Model UN. One was to represent Russia. They poured over whatever material they could find in the college library. Two days later, there was a knock on their door. It was the FBI.  This was long before the internet and Big Brother watching you surf, mind you.

Thirteen years ago, I wrote a series of articles about my experiences as a student in the USA. One article was about my teachers. I referred to a brilliant scholar who I described ‘as the only card-carrying member of the Communist Party’.  The truth is, I didn’t know if he was a member of the CP or not. It was short-hand for someone who openly articulated radical political positions inspired by Karl Marx. This was for a Sri Lankan newspaper. A week later, the FBI pays him a visit in Ithaca, NY.

So she should not be surprised that I am surprised by the fact that she is surprised. She should be more worried about who is peeping into her text messages.  Ideally it’s an alert citizenry that should keep an eye on such busybodies but we don’t live in an ideal world and this too she knows. All she does is give credence to processes and thinking that wants blanket surveillance of everyone for reasons that go beyond keeping an eye on an errant diplomat.

Oh, it’s all official of course, as she says. So is walking down the street. That doesn’t stop City Fathers and Mothers from installing CCTV devices at intersections. Same principle in operation here, Laura should understand.

She slipped though. She showed her hand when talking about the UNHRC investigation, hurrahing it in the process of reading from the tired script about supporting that process as well as domestic mechanisms. She slipped twice. First by paying homage to the UNHRC process which was conceived in malice, selectivity and in clear violation of everything the UN and UNHRC is supposed to stand for. She slipped again when she fails to give a similar cheer to the domestic process.  The latter is not without problems, but if both have questions hanging over them, salutations for both should be qualified.

Her exercise has been one of making Sri Lanka look bad, although she doesn’t say this when she briefed the world about her JD.  She might get a pat on the back for that and we won’t grudge her that feel-good moment.

She’s being presumptuous when she says that she shares with Sri Lankans the ‘common objective’ of long-lasting stability and prosperity; presumptuous because not everyone in Sri Lanka will believe that Britain is interested in anything of the kind.  Does she really want us to believe that her country is interested in stability and peace?

Here’s an exercise for Laura Davies: a) write down all the countries that her country has ‘intervened’ in from as far back as she can remember, b) assess what kind of plunder took place and where the loot ended up, c) give details of the numbers killed and by whom, and d) tell us how was left standing at the end and who these ‘last-standing’ supported. If she’s got a short memory, she can focus on the ‘now’ of British engagement.

Once she does that she can talk about stability, peace and British love for such things. Okay?

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 13

    The fact that our diplomats are busy slapping each other, singing praises does not mean others have to follow suit.
    Are you worried that the MOD ban on foreigners going north won’t apply here and she might report something your man wants hidden?

  • 10

    RE: Where’s Laura Davies Looking?

    Malinda Seneviratne,

    Where’s Malinda Seneviratne Looking? Are looking for Dr. Noonis? Mr. Vass?

    “The United Kingdon’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies is a lady on the move. “

    Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and is a Shill of the Rajapasa Family Dynasty and a White Washer of the Family Dynasty.

    • 3

      Hi is so bad at white washing. The color of the wall comes through – because he hates the color white. So he applies mud.

    • 5

      We all know where Malinda S is looking.
      Inside other people’s As……………….

      This is the trouble with editors who suck up to the Rajapakses and
      writing propaganda stuff which are absolute lies. [Edited out]
      That is why he is gone into a DESPERATE MODE
      So are the Rajapakses, even with plans of Vote Rigging and Fraud.
      The editors who are Sinhala racist and chauvinist are an absolute disgrace to the country.

      Donald Gnanakone
      Tamils For Justice

  • 7

    Malinda, one can sometimes see these questions and concerns often leveled against the diplomats as totally wrong, one-sided and unfounded ideas.

    First, if SL government learn do what is right on their part these things might not become issues of that height. When the diplomatic missions give hefty amounts of donations and cash-outs as aids (not loans)to the government they do not ask why. Nor won’t say, ‘no’ we don’t need your money. The diplomats offer funds for various projects for communities and may be that’s why they do go to check on the progress of those projects?

    Pls do correct me if I’m wrong.


  • 11

    Interesting how people resort to personal abuse when they are unable to respond to the content of an article.

    • 4


      If you are indeed educated as i believe you are – act with decency.

  • 13

    Where is Malinda looking? Definitely not at the places where there is ample corruption, murder, intimidation, thuggery, lawlessness, abuse, judicial irregularities etc. [Edited out]

  • 5

    Malinda you are using the laptop given by the odious regime very well. You have sold your soul for thirty pieces of silver.
    Why don’t you for a change write about corruption, thuggery, rapes, mad monks who threaten peaceful meetings, disappearances, threatening calls, slapping High Commissiners etc etc .You could for instance write about the two little girls who were gang raped over 11 days by Navy Personnel at least these are not done in countries that the likes of Davies represent. You could write about grabbing lands belonging to innocent people and thus change the demography. But then you can’t write about these things, especially when you get a free laptop. Can you? In the circumstances you are in you can only sing songs of praises to the maharajah at whose feet you prostrate.
    And you call yourself a journalist.

  • 5

    Look at Malinda’s last several columns. Non-stop analysis of the UNP, other opposition and Western countries. Critical or investigatory analysis of the government and the family that rules this country totally – NIL! Are these the biggest issues facing Sri Lanka? What a sham of a journalist!

    – Barack Obama (Unplugged) At The United Nations (Version 2014)
    – The Inflation Of Sajith Premadasa
    – The Soft And Hard Of Diplomacy
    – Friendship And Enmity
    – Has Anyone Seen Sarath Fonseka
    – The Scotland Vote And Sri Lanka
    – The Unity-Deficit In The United National Party
    – Thilini Versus Selva And The Justice-Deficit
    – The UNP Must Bridge The Democracy-Deficit
    – The Bala Tampoe Story
    – Who’s Afraid Of Mahinda Rajapaksa?
    – Sajith’s Move(s)

  • 6


    Don’t you get tired reading all the insults directed at you?

    Don’t you wonder if some of them are closer to the truth?

    Don’t you think ever, a change in attitude and values is warranted?

    Don’t you want to treated as an upright and forthright person?

    • 1

      He is so thick headed and thick skin.[Edited out]

  • 3

    Laura refers to widescale call it wholesale of a population whilst you dear Malinda refer to ad hoc and there lies the difference in security in the countries mentioned.

    And we are not a client state of Communist Party of China??

  • 3

    And precisely for the last para of questions and parroting that and simmilar last 5 years that we the once proud people of Sri Lanka are in the dog house.

    Sure these questions please your masters,personally good for you,hudson,jackson …prop up boys.

  • 5

    According the most recent revelations (Snowden/Assange), the UK citizenry face MORE surveillance than any other in the whole wide world. It is also the country with the ‘sus’ laws where any person could be stopped and searched on the road by the police, and it turned out that the vast majority who suffered this ignominy were blacks. Today this would be a little different with Muslims gaining more prominence. Phone tapping by the police is common place using the Anti-terrorist Act, without supervision by the Courts. Sri Lanka has a long way to go before reaching those depths.

  • 5

    There is no need for a Laura Davies to make Sri Lanka look bad. Mahinda Rajapakse, the war criminal and his laptop dogs are enough to accomplish that task.

  • 3

    Malinda, I admire your honesty and openness. Every one understand you know how to earn money from Mahina (of course it is public money, nothing from Mahinda’s pocket). Not only you, there are hundreds of people like Karuna, Pillian, Douglas, Vasudeva, GL Peries, Rambukana…..etc)do the same to keep Mahinda happy.

  • 4

    Dear Malinda,

    [Edited out] So unfortunately your article cannot be taken seriously.

    However some of what you have written are correct. However I am sorry to tell you that the British plundering our wealth and the Rajapakse’s plundering our wealth doesn’t make the Rajapakse’s saints. The day you write one article exposing this President then I may want to read the above article again. Until such time your article will linger in my trash can. You have more facts to write about the corruption committed by this regime in 9 years than the 100 years of British rule. Stick to writing your short stories Malinda because you fail miserably as a balanced journalist.

  • 2

    So the writer breezily confesses to “”” I referred to a brilliant scholar who I described ‘as the only card-carrying member of the Communist Party’. The truth is, I didn’t know if he was a member of the CP or not.”””

    Malinda has not grown wiser with ageing, he is just as irresponsible, shooting the breeze and hoping some things stick. This is the hypocrite who bites the hand that fed him the tools to ply his trade (badly). Don’t encourage the fraud.

  • 2

    I usually don’t agree with the author, but I like the straight forwardness.

    Most of the world problems were created by the Europeans and the US. If you don’t believe, look around you. There is NO country in the world where these criminals have not left their foot prints on.


    And they are the biggest hypocrites.

  • 1

    Seneviratne has said it all. Laura Davies need say no more. Bensen

  • 3

    There is none so blind who will not see! Malinda Seneviratne, like some of our Sinhalese brethren refuses to see what most reasonable people can see and feel: the government surveillance of the Tamil people, treating the the North and East like an open prison. Malinda’s prejudices and mindset, that the Tamil people must not be given their legitimate rights and are second class to his own kind, blinds him completely that he cannot see the injustice that others can see. This is what i wrote in her blog:
    Thank you for this dispatch Ms Laura Davies — giving us your unreserved view on the state of affairs in the East, especially relating to the ongoing (military and government) surveillance on people’s movements – quite revealing – you have only confirmed what we already know. Imagine how it must be for the people, and how frightening it is when you yourself with all your foreign office backing had to watch your step in a country where the President exercises his right to speak to the UN General Assembly. but denies access to UN investigators and thereby denying the people the right to testify; whilst he addresses the UN with no fear, the people are scared to speak!

  • 1

    I must thank the Colombo Telegraph for publishing a picture of the Deputy High Commissioner of UK in SL, because she hardly looks a diplomat representing a country.

    Every country has the right to safeguard its security. Malinda, in his article has given many examples. Malinda explains the duplicity of these so called preaching Foreigners. It is a case of the Pot calling the kettle black.

    Supposing an unguarded or unwatched diplomat was kidnapped! Then! It is the same fellows who would say that this country is not secure and issue Travel Advisories to cripple the tourist industry.

    After all Might is Right!

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