Government to shut some missions abroad

MangalaThe Government is to close down missions abroad for which no clear rationale exists, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera informed Parliament today.

He said that Sri Lanka also intends to introduce Non-Resident Ambassadors to further cut-costs and to establish a presence where a full-scale embassy cannot be justified but where Sri Lanka’s interests need to be furthered.

“Perhaps most importantly, we intend to create the necessary systems and policies to ensure that our diplomatic service is able to perform at the highest levels of excellence. This also means creating systems to take punitive measures where required for wrong-doing and sub-standard work, in order to ensure that the reputation of vast majority of conscientious and ethical officers is preserved. To this end, we are in the process of re-introducing the system of inspectors-general who will visit our missions abroad and report on compliance and performance,” he said.

He said that over the last year, the Government replaced a self-defeating foreign policy that lined the pockets of the few, with a foreign policy based on the principles of good governance that serves the interests of all Sri Lankans.

“We have put in place a clear, stable and results based foreign policy that provides tangible benefits to all our citizens. Already in the last year there have been some notable successes. First, following the consensus-resolution at the Human Rights Council in Geneva this September, Sri Lanka is no longer a pariah state – we are regaining our place as a respected and principled member of the international community and the community of democratic nations. As the cabinet-ranking US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, put it and I quote “I can’t think of another country in the entire world where you have seen such change in such a short period of time,” unquote,” he said.

The Foreign Minister also noted that Sri Lanka is beginning the process of re-establishing links with the many Sri Lankans overseas who had lost faith in Sri Lanka.

“We have restarted the engagement with the Diaspora that was started soon after the end of armed conflict by former President Rajapaksa. Many individuals and organisations who did not have confidence, are now inspired to make a genuine and positive contribution to Sri Lanka’s reconciliation and development journey. My colleagues and I have had meetings with leaders in the Overseas Sri Lankan community – which consist of many eminent doctors, statesman, businessmen, lawyers, musicians, writers and even chefs. There is an overwhelmingly positive response and we hope to take concrete measures to transform that goodwill into tangible contributions towards reconciliation and development over the coming year,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)

9 COMMENTS

  1. Good move by this Government. Nominate a Sinhalese from overseas to represent Sri Lanka as a honorary post, who knows the country and people and popular. This will boost Sri Lanka and might improve Tourism etc. Why Sinhalese? Because they are the majority. Obviously others can be nominated too. Save the country money till eventually with enough funding set up proper business Embassies. To create more business opportunities for the country.

    • Hey you Eddy, you are the kind of racist that we Sri Lankans of good grade are trying hard to clean away from our society
      I’m not sure what category you fall into within the Sinhalese it’s self such as bhuddist,govi,radala,etc or Christian Catholic,Anglican etc …..now tell me if you’re a majority?

      We are one nation,one people of our land – all are Sri Lankans

      We will move forward with or without people like you- thank god

  2. This is a good move, those who go to represent the country waste money and never find them in need.so get someone who lived there and knows about the needs of people.These so called Ambassodors are coming to office at 12 mid daya and go home at 2pm.we cant even get a pass port renewal form.I lived in the UK since 1966 nevet seen anyone really representing the country with the exception of Dr. Chris Nonis.

  3. This is an excellent idea by this government. In Australia, you can have the High Commissioner and have honorary Consuls and supporting staff for Sydney, Melbourne, and other states and for New Zealand. There are capable Sri Lankan’s who are domiciled in these countries. This will be a saving in accommodation, transport, etc given to those sent from Sri Lanka. Further they will have contacts and do have a knowledge of the systems in these countries.

    • Good move for part hacks another set of mates of the side of the ruling government of the day who has left the country will get a freebies from Sri Lankan tax payers. Cost savings must be joking has any one ever come in to contact with anyone to do with the Sri Lankan government of the day saved any thing more accurate is that they will save bunch of money in their bank accounts.

  4. Same allies to the Consulate General office in Frankfurt, Germany. There are only some 50.000 Sri Lankans in entire Germany. So why maintain an Embassy and a Consulate General. Countries like UK, France, Italy with over hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans living those countries manage with only one Mission. Sri Lanka can save at least EUR 500.000 annually by amalgamating the 2 missions. As one previously commented, honorary consuls can cover much of the basic work and represent Sri Lanka in a more dignified manner.

  5. Eddy, why Sinhalese only, I guess Tamils, Muslims and Burgers are well represented in the western national than singalese for your info.

  6. Switzerland has 40000 Sri Lankans, 5000 of them now
    hold CG Nationality. I do not see why a Consular Office
    has been opened at Zurich, just two hours away from
    Geneva. This was done to accomadate a Freight Forwarding Businessman only! It caters only to ZH
    residents just to collect applications and forward them
    to Geneva for processing is my guess?

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