Foreign Ministry recalls political appointees | Sunday Observer

Foreign Ministry recalls political appointees

1 December, 2019

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunewardena has issued instructions to recall all political appointees to Sri Lanka’s foreign missions with immediate effect.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that many political appointments have been made in the run up to the election despite explicit laws announced by the Election Commission not to make new appointments in the state sector during the election phase.

“Even head of missions have left for postings during this phase,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Observer and added that he had always championed the need to maintain professionalism in the state sector especially, in the Foreign Service.

Therefore, steps will be taken to maintain the current ratio of 58% career diplomats in the service.

Along with the non-career diplomats who will be recalled, the Ministry has sent out instructions to return the career diplomats who have ended their service.

In April this year the High Posts Committee approved the appointments of 14 career diplomats nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena, as Heads of Sri Lanka Missions overseas. It raised the percentage of career diplomats heading Sri Lanka Missions overseas from 37% to 46%.

The 14 Heads of missions appointed were Grade I officers of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service (SLFS).

Earlier in the week when assuming duties Minister Gunewardena said it is the Foreign Service that is entrusted with finding solutions and faces external pressures, but it cannot work unaided and needs other institutions to work together to achieve more effective goals.