Daily Archives: February 18, 2015
The new Sri Lankan government today said that an expert panel will probe all the complaints and environmental concerns regarding China-funded USD 1.5 billion Colombo Port City project and will take action if there are conditions detrimental to national interest.
Pointing that several environmental organisations have raised concerns over the environmental impact of the project, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the panel would look at all complaints and report to the Cabinet sub-committee.
Wickremesinghe said his government would take action if there are conditions detrimental to national interest.
On February 6, the government had said that it was yet to take a final call on the project, a day after it said that the controversial venture would go ahead as planned.
Wickremesinghe, however, clarified that the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena has not decided to abandon the project.
“We will consider the issue of our relations with China. We do not want to jeopardise our relations with China,” he said.
The port, expected to play a key role for China’s ambitious Maritime Silk Road project in India’s backyard, is being seen as the single largest private sector development ever in the island.
The project, would allow China Communication Construction Co Ltd, a Chinese government-owned infrastructure builder, to hold land in a high-security zone within close proximity to the Colombo port.
In the run up to the last month’s polls, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe criticised the mega investments by China, stating that they were taken at high rates of interest and deeply indebted Sri Lanka.
Wickremesinghe said Rajapaksa government had failed to inform parliament on the deal despite queries from opposition.
The project envisages reclaiming of 230 of water front to be developed as a port city with roads, water, electricity, communication facilities to set up shopping areas, water sports area, mini golf course, hotels, apartments, recreation areas and marinas.
In September last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the construction of the project, part of China’s attempt to restore its ancient prestige and historical links along the maritime Silk Road through Southeast and South Asia.
The current Sri Lankan government in opposition was critical of the pro-China policy of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who built new sea ports, airports and highways with Chinese funds during his nine-year rule.
COLOMBO:Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has reinstated ten army officers who had been sent on compulsory leave in 2010, for allegedly siding with former Army Commander Gen.Sarath Fonseka, then accused of trying to stage a military coup against President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The reinstated officers are: Maj Gen Mahesh Senanayake, Brig Bimal Dias, Brig Duminda Keppetiwalana, Brig Janaka Mohotti, Brig Athula Hannedige, Brig Wasantha Kumarapperuma,Col.Tilak Ubayawardena, Lt. Col. LJMCP Jayasundara, Capt. RMR Ranaweera, and Capt. WADC Chrishantha.
President Sirisena disapproved of the sacking and jailing of acknowledged “war hero” Gen.Fonseka on trumped up, politically inspired charges, and the treatment meted to army officers thought to be close to him.
In his election manifesto, Sirisena had said that he would restore to Gen.Fonseka all the privileges taken away from him after a Court Martial found him guilty of the charges against him. His quick trial and the incarceration that followed, invited world-wide condemnation. That led to his early release. But Fonseka had to wait until Sirisena came to power in 2015 to get back his rank, pension and medals. Other officers had to wait a little longer to secure justice.
Lanka Page says Thanks Above!
COLOMBO:In a major purge of the Sri Lankan Foreign Office, the new Maithripala Sirisena government has sacked 50 non-career diplomats who had been appointed by the previous regime on political and other non-professional grounds.
The purge covers 27 Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of Missions; three Consuls General and 23 others. Among the prominent Heads of Missions sacked are: former Navy chief Adm.Thissara Samarasinghe (Australia); former Army Commander Gen. Shantha Kottegoda (Thailand); former Navy Chief Adm.Wasantha Karannagoda (Japan), and former Foreign Secretary Dr.Palitha Kohona (Permanent Representative at the UN in New York).
But Lanka’s High Commissioner in India, Prof. Sudarshan Seneviratne, a non-career diplomat, has been retained.
The removal of political appointees and restoring competence and professionalism in Lanka’s foreign service was one of the election pledges of President Sirisena. Politicization of the foreign service has a long history in post-independence Lanka, but it took a particularly virulent form during the 10 year rule of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who, in order to strengthen himself politically to be able to fight the war against the LTTE, encouraged defections from the opposition by offering Ministerships, Ambassadorships and other diplomatic positions as a bait.
Lanka’s foreign service has been small, and therefore, it has had to take personnel from other services and fields to man the increasing number of missions overseas. The ratio had been fixed at 60 career diplomats to 40 non-career personnel and political appointees. But this ratio had tilted in favor of non-career diplomats under the Rajapaksa regime. The Srisena government has vowed to have 70 career diplomats to 30 non-career ones.
Recalled Head of Missions
1 H.E. Mrs. Bharathi Wijeratne – Ambassador/Ankara
2 H.E. Mr. Gamini Rajapakse – Ambassador/Amman
3 H.E. Gen (Rtd) S.H.S. Kottegoda – Ambassador/ Bangkok
4 H.E. Mr. Raja Edirisooriya -Ambassador/Brasilia
5 H.E. Admiral (Rtd) T.G.S. Samarasinghe -High Commissioner/ Canberra
6 H.E. Dr. K.G.I. Amarasinghe -Ambassador/Hanoi
7 H.E. ACM (Rtd ) JayalathWeerakkody -High Commissioner/ Islamabad
8 H.E. Mr. S.N. MarikarBhawa -Ambassador/ Kabul
9 H.E. Mr. V. Kananathan -High Commissioner/ Kampala
10 H.E. Mr. W.G.N.H. Dias -High Commissioner/ Male
11 H.E. Prof. Gamini Samaranayake -Ambassador/ Manila
12 H.E. Mr. U. Weeratunga -Ambassador/ Moscow
13 H.E. Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona -Permanent Representative to UN, New York
14 H.E. Prof. N.H.A. Karunaratne -Ambassador/Paris & Permanent Delegate to UNESCO
15 H.E. Mr. Sarath Kongahage -High Commissioner/Pretoria
16 H.E. Mr. HussainMohamdHussain -Ambassador/ Riyadh
17 H.E. Mr. N.B. Cooray -Ambassador/ Rome Permanent Representative to FAO
18 H.E Mr. W.W.T. Wijeratne – Ambassador/Seoul
19 H.E. Mr. O. Alahapperuma -Ambassador/Stockholm
20 H.E. Mr. M.F. Razeen -Ambassador/ Tehran
21 H.E. Mr. SarathWijesinghe – Ambassador/Tel Aviv
22 H.E. Mr. Buddhi K. Athauda -Ambassador/ The Hague & Permanent Representative to OPCW
23 H.E. Admiral (Rtd) WasanthaKarannagoda -Ambassador/Tokyo
24 H.E. Mr. RajathaPiyatissa -High Commissioner/Victoria
25 H.E. Mr. D.S. de Silva -Ambassador/Warsaw
26 H.E. Mr. H.R. Piyasiri -Ambassador/Yangon
Recalled Non- Career, Consul General Level Officers
NO Name Mission Designation
1 Mr.Pradip Jayawardane -Frankfurt Consul General
2 Dr.Adambawa Uthumalebbe -Jeddah Consul General
3 Mr. Mohan De Alwis -Toronto Consul General
Recalled Non-Career, Non-Head of Mission Level Officers
NO Name Mission Designation
1 Mr. Thanuja Usliyanage -Washington DC Minister
2 Mr.D.G.N.Rambukwella – Canberra Minister Counsellor
3 Dr.(Ms.)Hashini Kokila Waidyaratne -London Minister
4 Ms.C.J.Rambukwella – New York Second Secretary
5 Miss.P.R.B.W.Cooray -Paris Second Secretary
6 Mr.Nawodh Hennayake -Vienna Second Secretary
7 Mr. Dixon J Perera -Kathmandu Minister Counsellor
8 Mrs. Rani Malathi S. Bulathwela -Rome Minister
9 Mrs. Rathna Ranaweera – Canberra Third Secretary
10 Mr. Waruna Epasinghe – Washington Minister
11 Ms. M.I.Thuduwewatte -Beijing First Secretary
12 Ms. K.T.C.Shalendri -Canberra Second Secretary
13 Mr.Lalith Sepala Ratnayake -London Minister
14 Ms. Dharshie Lokuge -Brussels First Secretary
15 Mr. Dilukshan Jayasinghe -Dubai Third Secretary
16 Ms. Yasara Abeynayake -Sydney Consul/ MC
17 Mr. Lukshman Hulugalle -Canberra DHC
18 Mr. Pradeep P.Madddumabandara -Amman Third Secretary
19 Mr. P.K.M.R.S.Wijeratne -Cairo Second Secretary
20 Mr. Umayanga Nanayakkara -PRUN/New York Second Secretary
21 Ms. Janathri Nanayakkara -Washington DC Second Secretary
22 Mr. M.S.M.Liyawdeen -Baghdad CDA
23 Mrs. Anusha Sivarajah -Chennai Minister