Foreign Secretary new SL’s HC in London

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Secretary to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ms. Chitranganee Wagiswara has been nominated as Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to London, The Sunday Island learns.

Ms. Wagiswara, who joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1981, is the senior-most officer serving at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bachelor of Commerce degree holder from Sri Jayewerdenepura University, her first appointment was to Rome, Italy as the Third Secretary from 1984 to 1988.

She served as the First Secretary in Ottawa, Canada from 1991 to 1994 and thereafter as Deputy High Commissioner in London from 1996 to 1999.

She took over as the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Singapore in December 1999 and she finished her term in January 2003. She was then appointed as the Sri Lanka Ambassador to France and permanent delegate to the UNESCO in May 2005 and completed her term in September 2008.

Her last overseas appointment was to Canada as the Sri Lanka High Commissioner, where she served there from January 2010 to March 2014.

While Ms. Wagiswara has been nominated to London as the High Commissioner, Sugeeswara Gunaratna, a director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been appointed as her deputy. He has served the Ministry for over 15 years.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Colombo University and also completed a post graduate degree at Centennial College in Toronto, Canada. As a career officer, he served at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva and the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi prior to this posting to London.

Apart from than these two career diplomat appointments, a Sri Lankan Solicitor, Manoj Warnapala domiciled in the UK assumed duties at the High Commission last week as the head of the consular division. Incidentally, three lawyers from Sri Lanka, Indika Karunajeewa, Chaminda Kularatne and Sepala Ratnayake served their respective terms in this position earlier.

The Sri Lankan mission in the British capital has remained headless since the resignation of Dr. Chris Nonis in October 2014 following the incident of alleged assault involving then External Affairs monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardane.

Since then former MP and Mrs. World, Rosy Senanayake and former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara have been offered the job, which they politely turned down.