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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2396

Many heads to roll at the controversial Sri Lanka High Commission in London in spring cleaning

By a Special Correspondent

Colombo, 17 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka’s London High Commission, which has become a center of controversy, will be cleaned up by transferring many responsible diplomats out of London as a step to clean up the place during Spring, Foreign Ministry sources said.

“Very many heads will roll; the High Commission will start functioning under a newly appointed Head of Mission,” sources said.

Asian Tribune reliably understands that the High Commissioner, the Deputy High Commissioner, diplomat in charge of the subject of ‘Politics’ and the Commercial Counselor who was functioning beyond his mandate, sometimes performing the duties of the Deputy High Commissioner at this London outpost will be moved out for the smooth functioning of this important out post.

Though a large Sri Lankan Diaspora is living in London, tension between the expatriate Sri Lankans and the office of the country’s envoys was the hallmark of the relationship, Foreign Ministry sources said.

Meanwhile, tension has been growing up between Sri Lankan newspapers and the High Commission hierarchy leading to dozens of negative reports appearing in the Colombo press. Monetary irregularities - actually misappropriation of state funds have been highlighted in these allegations appearing in at least two leading Sunday newspapers. When it had been proposed to adopt professional public relations methods to lessen the tense relations the advocates had been laughed at. Instead, a cousin working in a Colombo newspaper had been used to plant stories against those who are thought to be against the hierarchy of the High Commission, mission sources said.

The issue of allegedly paying ten thousand British Pounds per month for a High Commissioner’s residence, buying a brand new Jaguar car for the use of the High Commissioner, while drivers who have worked long hours have been denied the payment of their overtime for years, have been raised as issues by the popular Sinhalese press in Colombo.

Meanwhile, misappropriating state money, by drawing funds, under the ruse for work, performed by domestic aids, for tasks never performed by them and pocketing out that money fraudulently have been alleged by certain sections of the High Commission.

Hierarchy of the high Commission has been alleged to have blocked certain anti- LTTE work performed by certain staffers. When the LTTE front organizations organized a mega Star event in London and work was done to “sabotage” this event and web sites and Indian newspapers were used to expose the organizers of the event as a banned terrorist group, orders came from the hierarchy of the mission who was vacationing in Colombo, to stop the campaign against the LTTE event, a letter written by one of the employees of the mission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed. The hierarchy of the mission was trying to use a circular intended for the purpose of curbing statements that would harm friendly relations with other countries to curb anti-LTTE work, the letter containing the allegations revealed.

Another allegation by the Sri Lankan Diaspora said that an association formed to face the LTTE propaganda has been blatantly used to glorify the hierarchy of the Mission. It has become the practice of the members of this association to send anonymous hate letters to various Diaspora members, like the President of the Sinhala Association, who have taken a leading role in lobbying parliamentarians, independent of the High Commission.

- Asian Tribune -

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