High Commissioner recalled from London

Sri Lanka High Commissioner Manisha Gunasekera, a senior career diplomat, has been recalled to Colombo after serving for just over one year in London.  No official reason has been given for her sudden recall.

Saroja Sirisena, also a senior career Foreign Service officer, who is now serving as Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Vienna, is tipped to replace her while Majintha Jayasinghe, who is currently ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, will now go to Austria to replace Ms. Sirisena.

It was not immediately known who will fill the vacancy in the UAE as several cross-postings were expected. Ms. Gunasekara is returning to Colombo and will be leaving Britain on February 1.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Protocol Division has been informed of her impending departure. Career officers are usually posted for a three-year term unlike political appointees who are contracted for two years. Ms Gunasekera assumed duties in London in November 2018.

London has become a ‘hoodoo’ posting for both political appointees and as career diplomats.  In the last five years, three high commissioners exited their posts. In 2014, then High Commissioner Chris Nonis resigned after being slapped by then Foreign Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena at a dinner party in New York when Dr Nonis was there to attend the UN sessions.

Amari Wijewardena who succeeded Dr. Nonis after a lapse of several months also returned to Sri Lanka without completing her full term

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