Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis has recently proposed to the President that English tuition be given to career diplomats at the External Affairs Ministry since they were weak in the English language.
He had questioned the President on how the likes of External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathileka Amunugama, Additional Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne and senior diplomat Prasad Kariyawasam who have been educated at rural schools, could communicate and carry out diplomatic relations with the international community since they do not have good command of the English language like him.
Nonis had said that the country’s foreign relations are in a mess due to the small minded officials educated at central colleges who are engaged in such affairs. He had also noted that backboneless persons like External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris should be removed from the post.
Dr. Chris Nonis has now completed about a year in the post of Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK and had acted in a vengeful manner where career diplomats are concerned. Among the diplomats who have been subjected to Nonis’ vengeance are P.M. Amsa, M.K. Pathmanathan, M.R.K. Lenagala, Orisa de Silva and Viji.
Amsa who was very popular among the Sinhala and Tamil communities in London and the suburbs is referred as the “Kaththankudy village idiot” or the “Kaththankudy village fool” by Nonis.
Nonis had also had various names to refer to M.K. Pathmanathan and M.R.K. Lenagala.
Speaking in front of career diplomats at the special workshop organized in Diyatalkawa several months back, Nonis said that the only obstacle to the diplomatic work carried out by him were the career diplomats. The President and the Defence Secretary were also present at the occasion.
It has been the common practice of the External Affairs Ministry to appoint a career diplomat as the deputy high commissioner to an overseas mission when the high commissioner is a political appointee. However, the President had ignored this tradition and made a political appointment to the post of deputy high commissioner in the UK due to Nonis’ “diplomatic allergy.”
It was 73 year old newspaper columnist and British national, Neville Silva who was appointed as the deputy high commissioner to the UK.