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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Sri Lanka appoints a career diplomat to head its only mission in Latin America

[caption id="attachment_1535" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Ambassador Designate to Brazil A. M. J. Sadiq being received by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo prior to Sadiq’s departure to Brazil"]Ambassador Designate  to Brazil A. M. J. Sadiq   being received by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo prior to Sadiq’s departure to Brazil[/caption]Colombo, 01 July, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka appoints for the first time a career diplomat to head its Embassy in Brazil. Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Brazil is the country’s only diplomatic outpost in the Latin America and already the Ambassador designate A. M. J. Sadiq has left for Brasilia to head the country’s mission.

After the opening up of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil , General Rohan de S. Daluwatte, former army commander was its first Ambassador.

He was succeeded by Major General Shantha Kottegoda, and he too returned to the country after completing his tour of duty on 18th April 2008.

Subsequently, the First Secretary in the Mission Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam was posted to Cuba as the Ambassador in January 2009.

In the meantime, Thambirajah Ravindran, a career diplomat who functioned as the Chargés d’affaires in Brazil too has returned back to Colombo on 1st May 2009 and he is presently the Director General for Africa.

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Brazil, presently functions only with two home based staff - an attaché and a stenographer.

Ambassador Designate A. M. J. Sadiq who counts nearly 20 years in the Sri Lanka Foreign Service and had served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Following his return to Colombo in August 2007, he headed the newly created Research & Policy Division in the Foreign Ministry prior to his appointment as the Director General of the Public Communications Division.

At present, Sri Lankan Embassy in Cuba, one of the Caribbean island nations is accredited to Argentina.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in New York is concurrently accredited to some of the leading and important Latin American countries such as Republic of Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.

As Sri Lanka has a full fledged Embassy in Brazil, it is high time Sri Lanka consider to accredit its Embassy in Brazil to some of the leading Latin American countries.

However it is observed that some of these Latin American countries are sensitive to their neighboring countries and are opposed to having a resident ambassador of one country accredited to their country.

A best example is Vatican.

Usually it never welcomes resident ambassadors in Rome to be accredited to Vatican. Even though Sri Lanka has an Ambassador in Rome, the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Germany is accredited to Vatican.

According to a North American diplomat, there are lot of scope for expanding trade and trade relationships between Sri Lanka and many of these Latin American countries.

It is time Sri Lanka looks around in Latin America for more trade opportunities and friendly diplomatic relationship.

- Asian Tribune -

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