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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2589

P M Amza: Fitting Farewell to a Model Ambassador

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

On Tuesday evening, July 8th, the diplomatic community and the friends of Sri Lanka came out in their numbers to bid farewell to the hard-working, amiable and patriot-to-the-core P M Amza, the outgoing Sri Lankan Ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg – and the Head of Mission to the European Union – at a ceremony organized by our mission in Brussels, Belgium.

This farewell function was attended by several members of the European Parliament, Ambassadors and Heads of Mission from various countries, MEP of the EU, Belgium government officials, some representatives from various Think Tanks and a cross section of the Sri Lanka Expatriates.

Mr Amza, who is no stranger to hard-working for his motherland, regardless of the position he held or the mission that he led, could see his unique service on behalf of Sri Lanka being appreciated by a wide section of the diplomatic community and the friends of Sri Lanka at the function.

“Ambassador Amza, the Head of Mission of Sri Lanka to the European Union, during his tenure as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to EU, has tirelessly worked with the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka Group’, which helped to mitigate content of the Resolutions on Sri Lanka by the European Parliament,” said MEP Geoffery van Orden, the Chairman of the Friends of Sri Lanka Group, while addressing the gathering.

It goes without saying that unless Mr Amza, the highly-seasoned diplomat, got involved in the delicate diplomatic process, the resolution against Sri Lanka could have been far worse than anyone anticipated, especially when the country was being battered by seemingly endless tidal waves of hostilities.

Mr Orden also noted the contribution made by Mr Amza during his tenure to promote the relations between the EU and Sri Lanka, in general and to improve the bilateral relations between Belgium and Sri Lanka, in particular – at a disturbingly crucial time, of course.

“At a time when Sri Lanka was untimely targeted with distorted information, the work performed by Ambassador Amza is remarkable,” Mr Orden continued at the farewell event.

Ambassador Amza, blessed with the gift of mingling with people of any community with ease, was known among the friends of Sri Lanka, be in London, Brussels or Chennai, as someone who has a steely determination in equal measure to complement it, when it comes to protect his motherland from the usual suspects.

Mr Amza has always been full of praise for the education that he received in Sri Lanka, which ultimately provided him with a diving board for a career success, in recognition of his dedication to work. He worked at two diplomatic missions, when the country was going through its darkest hour in recent times – in Chennai and London respectively – in extremely difficult circumstances.

I vividly remember how the diplomats, the peers of the House of Lords in London and the friends of Sri Lanka gathered to bid adieu to Ambassador Amza in the Houses of Parliament in London, almost two years ago, for the service he rendered for Sri Lanka.

Although, the function in Brussels was on a lesser scale in terms of the numbers for obvious reasons, the spirit in which those who attended bid farewell to Ambassador Amza was in no way touched a subdued note. On the contrary, it was even stronger.

The secret of Mr Amza’s diplomatic success stems from the fact that he always managed to convince his subordinates that a diplomatic mission does, indeed, have a great heart and that heart comes from those who server within its perimeter under one roof.

Mr Amza is due to leave the Sri Lankan mission at the end of this month to take up a position at the foreign office in Colombo. He accepted the new posting with a characteristic giggle, while reminding us of the metaphorical closeness of a diplomat and a natural nomad.

One thing is certain on the eve of his departure : Ambassador Amza can go back to his motherland with his head held high, because, not only has he done his job to the best of ability, but also inspired hundreds of patriots to play their corresponding individual role for a common goal in unison – a rare feat, indeed.

- Asian Tribune -

P M Amza: Fitting Farewell to a Model Ambassador
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