June 06, Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the new Sri Lankan Ambassadors and High Commissioners to remove any apprehensions abroad about Sri Lanka's security situation and urge every country to lift travel advices. He said this addressing 17 new Sri Lankan envoys and senior officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat today (June 6).
The President said every officer in the last two batches of envoys he appointed as ambassadors and high commissioners were from Sri Lanka Foreign Service (SLFS) and with these appointments, number of SLFS officers heading the Sri Lankan missions abroad has increased from 35 percent to 55 percent. The number of SLFS officers as Sri Lankan Embassies and High Commissions will increase to 28 in 52 Embassies and High Commissions with these appointments. Earlier the 60 percent were political appointees and only 40 percent were from the SLFS.
Accordingly, Brussels, Turkey, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Netherlands, Singapore, Austria, Washington, and the Office of the Permanent Representative of the United Nations in New York have been appointed with new envoys from Sri Lanka.
The list of nominated new ambassadors received the approval of the Committee on High Posts at the Parliament.
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha expressed his gratitude to President for appointing such a large number of SLFS officers as heads of missions for the first time and introducing a healthy balance between SLFS officers and political appointees. He also briefed the President about the orientation program organized by the Ministry for the new Head of Missions.
Secretary to the President, Udaya R Seneviratne, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Additional Secretary Esala Weerakoon, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London, Manisha Gunasekara and the newly appointed envoys were present at this meeting.