Mangala Samaraweera was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chandrani Bandara was appointed as the Minister of Women’s Affairs in the latest cabinet. One of the main pillars of the Maithripala Sirisena campaign was to de-politicize the Foreign Service which was filled with children and relatives of cronies by the previous Rajapaksa administration. Interestingly one such political appointment given was to the son of then UNP Parliamentarian Chandrani Bandara. In an exclusive story Colombo Telegraph revealed how her son was given a diplomatic posting by the Rajapaksa Government even though he had not passed the Sri Lanka Foreign Service exam or gone through the appropriate selection process.
Rukshan Jayasinghe, Chandrani Bandara’s son now serves at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. At the time, the posting was believed to be a reward to Tissa Attanayake who was playing a double game while staying with the UNP. Chandrani Bandara is believed to be on intimate terms with Attanayake over a prolonged period, even though the latter is also married. Attanayake later left the UNP to formally join the Rajapaksa administration.
All eyes are now on the new Foreign Minister as to whether he would recall political appointees which would include the son of his fellow cabinet colleague. If not this would be the beginning of the same old crony politicization of the Foreign Service.
At one point UNP MP Rosy Senanayake had an offspring working for the Foreign Ministry through political connections. Her daughter was inducted to work for CHOGM as previously revealed in Colombo Telegraph and was to be sent as a diplomat. However after revelations about the appointment Senanayake is believed to have withdrawn her daughter from the group.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Chandrani Bandara was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Employment.