Key Western allies of govt to avoid SF Field Marshal ceremony

Several prominent foreign ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo will refrain from attending former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka’s ‘Field Marshal’ ceremony tomorrow, highly placed Foreign Ministry sources told the Daily News.

The heads of diplomatic missions from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the European Union will refrain from attending General Sarath Fonseka’s ceremony on Sunday, which will be held under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena.

fonsekaWhen contacted by the Daily News, the US Embassy sources said on Friday that the present US Ambassador would not attend the ceremony as he was only operating as an “acting Ambassador”. Therefore, the Embassy source said, the head of the US diplomatic mission in Colombo would not be present at the event.

Speaking to the Daily News, the Press Officer of the German Embassy in Colombo said the Ambassador would not take part in General Fonseka’s ceremony as he was traveling out of Colombo.

The Press Officer of the French Embassy in Colombo said the Ambassador was not in the country and therefore he would not be present at the former Army Commander’s ceremony.

The countries whose heads of diplomatic missions will not be present at General Sarath Fonseka’s ceremony on Sunday are the countries that have leveled war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka during the final stage of the Eelam war. However, the Daily News also learns that some Embassies will send second tier officers to represent their countries at General Fonseka’s ceremony.

Commenting on this development, highly placed sources of the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the move made by several foreign ambassadors and heads of missions in Colombo was nothing short of a diplomatic boycott.