Ukraine probing Udayanga’s alleged weapons deal

udayanga-werathungaBy Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The Ambassador of Ukraine in New Delhi, India has informed the Sri Lankan officials that Ukrainian authorities are in the process of investigating the alleged transfer or handing over of weapons by former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, and that further details will be shared with Colombo in due course.

He has also said that any action on the matter would need to await the outcome of the investigation underway in Ukraine.

In November 2014, the Embassy of Ukraine to Sri Lanka, located in New Delhi, brought to the Foreign Ministry’s attention, officially, that Ukrainian authorities have received information that Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to the Russian Federation, had handed over weapons to 19 Ukrainian nationals.

On 21 April this year the Ambassador of Ukraine to Sri Lanka resident in New Delhi, visited Sri Lanka, and met the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

At the meeting, the Ambassador was assured of Sri Lanka’s fullest cooperation, considering the extremely serious nature of the issue.

The Ukrainian Ambassador based in New Delhi was also informed that the Government of Sri Lanka stands ready to send a delegation to Ukraine, as per the requirements of the Ukrainian authorities, to assist with the investigation or to carry out further investigations.

“As at this moment, the Government of Sri Lanka awaits information from the authorities in Ukraine, on what is required from us. This information would also be necessary for the purpose of determining the appropriate time to send a delegation from Sri Lanka to Kiev,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne told the media.

Earlier, considering the seriousness of the information shared by the Ukrainian authorities, two officials of the ministry were instructed to travel to New Delhi, and meet the Ambassador of Ukraine, to ascertain further information.

Udayanga Weeratunga visits SL embassy in Tehran

In a strange turn of events, Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, whose name has been implicated in an arms deal controversy, has visited the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tehran with a request to certify a power-of-attorney copy in order to get some of his heavy baggage in the Colombo port to be cleared. His visit to the Tehran embassy was confirmed by the new Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne today during a weekly press briefing held at the Ministry premises. “Former Ambassador Weeratunga had visited the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tehran, Iran on May 5 with a request for his copy of power-of-attorney to be certified and had provided an email address to the embassy officials to continue further communications on the matter,” she said. – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/74861/sl-embassy-in-tehran#sthash.8ZSivdCL.dpuf

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