The statement said that the new Government has appointed a non-military civil servant as the Governor of the North.
Palihakkara replaces Major General (Retd) GA Chandrasiri. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had been calling for the removal of Chandrasiri as Governor.
Palihakkara was former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. He has served on the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. He retired as the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka in December 2006 after 38 years of civil and diplomatic service.
Since the 1990s, he has served on a number of assignments to the United Nations in Geneva and New York. Mr Palihakkara served as Acting Director-General and Deputy Director-General of Sri Lanka’s Peace Secretariat (SCOPP), which serviced the Norwegian-facilitated peace talks (2002) and subsequent ceasefire (2003).
Among other positions, he was Director-General of Multilateral Affairs at Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry, covering work related to preventative diplomacy, peace-building, arms control and non-proliferation.
He has also served as one of members of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). (Colombo Gazette)