Daily Archives: February 18, 2015

Lanka to set up panel to probe Chinese port city project

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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.

DH

Sirisena Reinstates Gen.Fonseka’s Supporters in Lankan Army

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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.

TNIE

Lanka Sacks 50 Non-Career Diplomats in Major Purge

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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.

TIE

Recalled Head of Missions 

 NAME    DESIGNATION
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

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