The story has become all the more intriguing because the man who served as Consul General in a well-known city in a well-known country during the previous regime, was said to have been looking after the interests of the powers that be at that time. Thereafter, the former administration, grateful for the services rendered, posted him to an Asian capital in the Far East as the head of mission. Then it was time to say goodbye.
Insiders say at over 65 years, well past the age of retirement, he lobbied the high and mighty in the new dispensation. Hey presto!! He has now been named head of mission in a country where communism once thrived, but is doing well despite the recession in Europe. The Ministry boss tried to persuade the higher up not to make the change and keep to the career diplomat’s appointment. However, that was of no avail. No wonder the Foreign Service is once again slipping to the bad old days of not so long ago. To hell with good governance”.
The above is from the Sunday Times of 13 December 2015 refers to Rajapaksa lackey former diplomat Tissa Wijerathna (TW) who has now been appointed as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Poland by the President.
TW joined the Foreign Service in 1981 through back door thanks to late A C S Hameed (ACSH), former foreign minister. TW organised election rallies/meetings for ACSH and spoke at various election meetings for ACSH. ACSH showed his gratitude to TW in an exemplary manner by selecting TW to Foreign Service. TW was extremely poor in his English and therefore he and few others were summoned to a house belong to ACSH’s brother in Kandy and given all question papers of Foreign Service examination prior to the examination. The same crowd was also briefed on interview questions before they appeared for the interview. Thus they merrily secured entry into the Foreign Service.
TW has served at Sri Lanka Missions in Bangkok, Beijing and London. He was also appointed as Consul General in Los Angeles. He served as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the State of Israel and Republic of Korea. He returned from Korea only in September this year. His appointment to Korea was made after his retirement from the public service by Rajapaksas to show their gratitude towards TW. Jaliya Wickramasuriya was behind this appointment.
The most important diplomatic appointments of TW were in Los Angeles (LA) and Washington DC. In LA he facilitated all black money transfers of Basil and Gota and other members of Rajapaksa family. He oversaw all property purchases of Rajapksas in LA. Rajapaksas were grateful to their faithful servant and appointed TW again as deputy to Jaliya Wickramasuriya in Washington DC. In DC, TW helped Jaliya to swindle public funds, looked after all Rajapaksa interests in DC as well as Jaliya’s tea business. TW was behind in all payments made by Jaliya and Sajin Vass to various public relations companies in USA which gave huge commissions to Sajin, Jaliya and TW. Jaliya plundered USD 300,000/- when he purchased a new building for the Embassy and TW was behind that by signing all documents and vouchers for Jaliya.
Therefore, TW should now be in jail rather than being posted to Poland as Ambassador or be summoned by the FCID.
Though TW was given postings in plum places like LA, London, Washington D C he is not a capable officer. He should not have been given any rank above First Secretary.
Recently he was caught with that gold necklace issue when he was working as Ambassador in South Korea. A poor Sri Lankan died there and his very valuable gold jewellery was sent by TW in the diplomatic mail bag which is illegal. Not only that TW even wrote on the packet that it contains gold jewellery and his cronies in Colombo easily got that. It showed how unprofessional he was. However, TW’s foreign ministry friends saved him from all wrongdoing by sending an innocent peon to jail and by issuing a new circular. Poor family of the deceased man did not get anything. However, TW should have been surcharged for that.
The most interesting aspect of this new appointment by the President would be what the so called High Post Committee of Parliament would do when TW appear before that in the future. Under Yahapalanaya (Good Governance) these Committees should act independently. TW’s new appointment shows how helpless Foreign Minister Mangala is. He has no say at all. Ranil Wickramasingha cannot also say anything as he has got many of his friends appointed as Ambassadors through the President.