29 July, 2021

Blog

‘You Are All Under Surveillance’: How The Foreign Ministry ‘Leaker In Chief’ Warned Officers Against Leaking

After the Colombo Telegraph exposed how Foreign Ministry’s Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage was involved in an utterly unprofessional media gimmick, leaking a confidential report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to Government-friendly media, it has now been revealed that the same individual styling himself as “Foreign Secretary” issued a stern warning to his subordinates regarding sensitive information being ‘leaked’ to the media.

Jayanath Colombage

Issuing a circular to all Sri Lankan Ambassadors in foreign countries on 11 January 2021 Colombage claims that “certain media institutions have obtained confidential information pertaining to key discussions at the Foreign Ministry” and that such articles have been “noted as bringing disrepute to the Government and the Foreign Ministry.” Colombo Telegraph has obtained a copy of the circular.

A top ambassador who received the warning told Colombo Telegraph that “it was a joke for the Admiral to be talking of disrepute to the Foreign Ministry after having leaked a confidential UN document to the media last week.”

Circular to all Sri Lankan Ambassadors in foreign countries

Colambage the one time sailor who was parachuted to the post of Secretary to the Foreign Ministry by President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa after the Parliamentary elections in August 2020 notes further in his memo with reference to leaks in the media that leaking “is quite a negative and unethical practice and does not argue well for the institution.” The Colambage circular further warns: “Immediate action to investigate such leakages of confidential information will be taken by the Ministry and those found responsible will be subject to strict disciplinary action.”

Then last week, a few days after issuing the warning circular Colambage took it upon himself to violate his own order. Large parts of High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s draft report showed up in the pages of a national Colombo newspaper.

The UN is furious about the leak in the Colombo media especially since Colombage had requested for a 10-day extension to respond to the confidential report by Michelle Bachelet the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN. If not for this delay Bachelet’s report would have been released sooner. But her office granted Sri Lanka more time to reply to her report and held back the report until it was received. But several days before the GOSL reply was delivered to the Office of the High Commission on 27th January Colambage had already leaked the contents of the report in several interviews he gave in the Sri Lankan media and also a full copy of the report to a newspaper that has been friendly towards the Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa Government.

Colombo Telegraph learns that the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Relations intended to make sure the leaked report took the wind out of Bachelet’s sails when her Office finally released the damning document. The friendly newspaper was to downplay Bachelet’s findings about the Nandasena Government’s pathetic human rights record and use the leaked copy to kick off the spin doctoring that the High Commissioner for Human Rights was biased against Sri Lanka. The agenda was made clear when the newspaper failed to even mention one of the most damning parts of the report which was that Bachelet was finally telling member states for the first time to consider referring the Sri Lanka human rights situation to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Senior officials have expressed concern over the increasing militarisation of the Foreign Ministry under Admiral Colombage. It is reliably learned that at a recent meeting Colombage informed a group of shocked senior officials that their private communications with each other are being monitored by ‘different agencies.’ The Ministry officials were told that any criticism of the government or the foreign secretary will be known through this surveillance.

The not-so-subtle threat was made in response to several officers privately discussing their disgruntlement over recent diplomatic postings issued by Colombage.(By Nimal Ratnaweera)

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 31
    5

    Jayanath Colombage

    I have been thinking, when this regime collapses where do you think those members of Gota Appreciation Society intend to claim political asylum?

    Normally crooks, war criminals, …… are allowed to live comfortably in Trump-land provided claimant possess millions/billions in illegal bank accounts.

    • 9
      25

      Hope Bachelet ‘s report would also reference British war crimes in Sri Lanka: Phil Millers’ recent film and book Title “Keenie Meenie: the British mercenaries who got away with war crimes in Sri Lanka” which documents how in the 1980 when the SAS was helping the UNP’s JRJ govt set up the Special Task Force to fight India’s RAW and IB backed LTTE and other militant groups in northeast.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei-XIAIab2Q

      • 6
        20

        Then as no, strategic Sri Lanka was a Hybrid War/ Cold War proxy war theater, and it is in the context of the Weaponization of ethnic and religious identities by outfits like the Asia Foundation set up to fight Communism and Socialism with religion (Buddhism and Islam), that the ethnic violence and the Assassination of Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandaranaike by a Buddhist monk who recanted his confession in court after a Scotland Yard Inquiry Lanka should be seen.. Like the foreign intelligence agencies helping cover up the Easter Sunday CIA owned ISIS crime..
        Check out: Eugene Ford’s Book ” Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southest Asia” and also Vincent Bevin’s path-breaking book : The JAKARTA METHOD on CIA and MI6 Cold War proxy wars in the Indian Ocean region…
        GoSL should send Bachelet a reading list on the Cold War in the IOR!

        • 27
          2

          Rajapakse Junta Regime2
          miracles. 😎😎😎😎😎
          .
          Millitarised govts ended up being successful. That is the history. Nandasena ll have to see it soon.. his brother mafia boss utters totally different while Nandasena makes every effort to stroll forward not knowing the basics. Wait and see, political suicide would be the only alternative. Good luck to motherland filled with punnaku eaters!😎😎😎😎😎😎

          • 19
            1

            Millitarised govts ended up being unsuccessful.

    • 9
      2

      Vedda’s son, most likely SL. They know they can fool the people and win back power in 5 years. Always. The anti-Rajapaksa camp is not united. They are divided into ethnic tribes with none of them having any real clout.

      • 2
        0

        GATAM

        “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

        ― Abraham Lincoln or others

      • 3
        0

        Gatam,
        .
        is it right to blame the politicians only ?, but people are to be blamed more

        . If they are asked to go for ” punnaku as staple food”, if DERANA TV and HIRU TV would do the job, no doubt, whole lot of people across the country would be found in paddy fields.
        :
        Such a stupid nation regardless of their race, regligion or whatever diffefrence between communities.

        My eyes could not believe, the manner how people gathered to collect DHAMMIKA paniya – the crowds were no different to the levels we experienced it for ” worship of FAKE relics at Kelaniya Temple prior to GOTA s election”:
        .
        Doctoral students should be given chances to study as to why PEOPLE in this beautiful island become “mercy cows” over the recent past.

        Those monks, repeating they would proetct the nation, destroy almost everything similar to ELPHANT-HUMAN conflict rural corners demolish everyhting.
        :
        Let s be honest to US… if a monk would not realize the HUMAN BIOLOGY, they should better leave it to the experts. Likewise, if GMOA are not the EXPERTs to CONTAGIOUS disease control, those bitch ‘s sons should utter nonsence to the nation, keeping them above the VIOROLOGY experts.

    • 17
      1

      This we predicted long before. Today people are speechless. The days to come will show real face of alleged high criminal s. Today is another decisive day regarding columbo port. What can we say looking back. ?😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

    • 11
      1

      Good riddance to the people.
      .
      Now the situation would be noway reverse.

      Yet even today, people are not clear ADA DERANA TV and Hiru TV should be banned or not.
      :
      Rubber factory implemented by previous govt was declared as if CURRENT govt made wonders
      .
      Wind mills impletemented by previous govt was declared as if current govt made wonders
      .
      The road and constructions will be declared as if CURRENT govt did, but most of them were the harvest of previous govt.
      :
      Unfortunately, the numerous project implemented by PREVIOUS govt amidst mlechcha attacks of MR et al, were not given publicity by main stream local media channels.

      Now the bunch of CRIMINALS being elected as leaders, NOTHING is achieved, not nothing like promised justice given to easter sunday disaster victims. Nor have they continued investigations on BOND scam.
      :
      JVPrs were defeated by PEOPLE, since they tried to paint the picture BOND scam was originated by UNP.
      :
      Both JVPrs and UNPrs were marginalized but how is the outcome today ? ARE U HAPPY – is what people would question ” Rajapakshes”:

    • 5
      1

      Native Vedda

      Realistically, I don’t think the Rajapakse regime will collapse, at least not in my lifetime, but we can live in hope. Trump managed to convince 70m voters (probably about 20% of the population) that the election was a fraud & tried to legally overturn the result but the justice system in the US prevailed. I can see the same happening in SL with GR’s 6m or so voters (27% of the population?) if the current regime loses the next election. Even with vote rigging & intimidation, the difference being the rigging will be done by the reigning regime, & with self serving cronies in key positions & the judiciary, its a no brainer that the govt will have its way. Worst case scenario, the military is there to make sure it happens & crush any uprising. No doubt, Myanmar is food for thought as well for GR. SL will be the latest addition to the third world despotic regimes for life.

      • 3
        0

        Raj-UK

        On the contrary though Hitler, Saddam, Mussolini, Velupillai Prabaharan were strong men(?) on their own right their destruction was their own making.

        Not to worry already there are emerging signs of the regime slowly imploding within itself. Before the elections Clan made too many conflicting promises to its diverse Sinhala/Buddhist base. Now it is being held ransom.

        Why is it too difficult for a Sinhala/Buddhist strongman (6.9 million supporters) to make a decision one way or another on the harbor project? Why is Gota whinging since he was elected 18 months ago?

        He is good for nothing except killing innocent people (1987 to 1991 and 2005 to 2015)

  • 3
    2

    I set aside my practice of overlooking meaningless complaints to air my annoyance ver resentment.

    • 3
      2

      I got cut off in the middle when making this comment. Sorry.

  • 8
    4

    Sorry Lanka is a joke!

  • 13
    3

    Will this end up in the detention of Foreign Ministry’s Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage. If he is detained or transferred what will be the outcome. Such things are common in dictatorial type of democracies. The latest news is that in Myanmar Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained by the Military. Myo Nyunt said the situation regarding NLD lawmakers was unclear, with parliament scheduled to convene on the day. According to the spokesperson: “The military should abide by the law. We need broad support from the international community to protect the democracy in Myanmar”. But in Sri Lanka the top posts are held by Military Officers and Parliament is dictated by Gota who too was in the Military. Let us wait and watch the crisis to come.

    • 2
      4

      Having been in the UK for the past 40 years I have lost count of stuff that was leaked purposely by various governments.

      Our last GOSL monasterial meeting discussions were leaked by Indian Media based in SL??

      I never seen such ethical and moral argument etc????

      If one leaks something in the interest of the Nation being attacked (outside of party politics) why someone worry so much??

    • 0
      0

      Mr. Aiyathirai: “Will this end up in detention of Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Jayantha Colombage”. Are you in the “Dream Land” of a “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka?. Please take my word, instead of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dinesh Gunawardane will be “Detained” (whatever that word means). In my opinion, he (Dinesh Gunawardene) is already on “Detention Orders”. Have you ever “Heard” of him?

  • 9
    13

    Hope Bachelet ‘s report would also reference British war crimes in Sri Lanka: Phil Millers’ recent film and book Title “Keenie Meenie: the British mercenaries who got away with war crimes in Sri Lanka” which documents how in the 1980 when the SAS was helping the UNP’s JRJ govt set up the Special Task Force to fight India’s RAW and IB backed LTTE and other militant groups in northeast.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei-XIAIab2Q

    Also hope Bachelet would be issuing damning reports on HR violations and war crimes committed by the US, UK and France (P3), India, Austalia etc. in Yeman, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chagos Islands, Iraq, Syria, Libya , Ukraine, etc. and their arms sales in hybrid proxy wars the Indian Ocean region where France mysteriously claims almost twenty percent of the Indian Ocean using its colonies also after BREXIT booted out French fisheries in the British Channel!
    France over-fished in Somalia’s Indian Ocean EEC waters, forcing Somali fishermen into piracy and is now trying to do the same in Sri Lanka, with help from Japan while providing fake aid to the fisheries sector and other projects in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, where the CIA owned and operated ISIL/ISIS wants to set up a Caliphate after staging the Easter 2019 bombings!

  • 7
    2

    .Diplomats are bound to tell lies on behave of their governments .

    Selective leakages are in order,not blanket bans !

    • 11
      2

      Srikrish,
      .
      Let s wait and see what our self proclaimed political analyst -DJ has to utter on this topic ….
      .
      Srilanka will be known as another lybia to that region.

  • 1
    3

    Srilanka did exactly what Burma (Myanmar) just did what the Srilankans did just over an year ago, coinciding with the Independence Day of Srilanka.

  • 2
    3

    Leela,

    DJ is not merely a political analyst, but a political scientist

  • 2
    1

    ” Rata watakara wata bandath Kata watakra weta bandinna baaaaa…..”

    Especially in Sri Lanka

    • 2
      0

      Wimpio,

      Srilanka has become RAJAPKASHE: S PRIVATE property. So, Freedom will not be given to the slaves in that island. Wonder will be even if an election would be called tomorrow. Slaves would not disagree with them.
      .
      Rajapakshe and their men gol exonerated all their crime investigations. Some of those investigations are high crimes incl. murders.
      .
      For that purpose only they returned to power. Punnakku eaters were well informed about the danger.

  • 4
    0

    UN , international courts and majority Democracies said to Lanka ” you can run but can’t hide ??”. The war general at foreign ministry after leaking the classified told press ” no one need to teach democracy to us because we are experts in Democrazy and we even provide annual intensive courses to who ever interested to listen. The war general then told his subordinates: you all are under surveillance
    under SIRCULAR,who shoots people like dogs Then Sarath went a step ahead and accused the “investigators of raping and murdering the victims
    Looks like hell of a defense being prepared for Geneva.

  • 0
    0

    Every time there was a General election , the winning party always
    charged that there is the shadow of a Military coup to stop them
    forming a government . Wolf cry , reminiscent to our traditional
    tale of Washer man and the Crocodile . And now , it looks the real
    Crocodile is fast approaching towards the Washer man . Needless
    to describe how because the man on the hot seat was brought in
    for nothing but to punish a section of the populace ! The irony is that
    the targeted section’s representatives themselves voting in favour of
    law amendment to hand sufficient power to the very man to carry out
    his expectations ! Self – inflicted disaster ! Both majority and minority !

  • 0
    0

    Almost all democratic countries have condemned the Myanmar Military Coup. So far Lankawe’s Military Government has not released any statement supporting or censuring either party in the Burmese Military coup. In November there were two elections. There were unrealistic claims in both that there were massive election fraud by the parties, lost the elections. America, the Oldest Democracy by constitution, sorted it out by itself. Myanmar lost the control and fell back into the Military Junta’s hands.
    Democracy needs protection. The Old Democracies, under the leadership of US, are expected to pay attention on this matter. UN is very weak on this because it gives membership for all type of governments. So, many of them very successfully are walking their challenges against democracies, in the UN. In 2016, before November election, then State Secretary John Kerry said that US had spent $450 M on Lankawe and Myanmar. He claimed both have successfully returned to democracy. As we have deep sense of Lankawe politics, which by elections, from 1948, moved from Democracy to Juntis government, we questioned Secretary John Kerry’s jaundice statement immediately, in CT, on Lankawe’s issue. Still we thought Myanmar may have got in the right path. But now it too has retracted on its path of democracy.

  • 0
    0

    The reality was, Western governments, in neither country, were serious in bring back democracy. Probably, as some opponents of West suggested, there were no war possible that is why. NATO and US spent in trillions to remove the dictators like Nazibullah, Sadam, Gadhafi respectively from Afghan, Iraq & Libya. In Lankawe case India, Japan, EU and America were willing giving free economic aids, Medial Aids, Food aids and Military aids to the military &semi-military governments which existed from 1970. Further the governments in Lankawe were very well specialized in their Aappa Diplomacy so if India Not giving them, they take from China, If China No given they take from US, If US not giving they take from EU and if EU is not willing to give any aids they take from Japan. Their current Donner is India, led by Dr. Jeysankar, Indian FAM. Lankawe has long prepared China for UN Secretary council Veto from the time it did the Genocide in Mullai Tivu, in 2009. India protesting Lankawe taking paid help from China, so keep helping Lankawe in UNHRC because India cannot beat China IN UNSC as it has no membership there. In this mentality of international powers to rescue from punishments and adopt the naughty child Lankawe, there is no redemption for the people living in Lankawe.

  • 1
    0

    We are talking of leaks in information. Barring the provisions of right to information NOBODY in the public service including the Secretary of a Ministry can leak or provide information to others excepting through the Director /Director General of Information. Under these circumstances how right can be the Professor cum Admiral in providing information of the Ministry to the press, participating in talk shows Etc.? Once he contradicted the spelt policy of his own boss. The damage control that he did was a poor show. This article shows that Foreign/Sec is at logger-heads with his own officers when he should be the leader of a Team.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.