UNP demands impartial probe into assault on Ambassador Nonis
Posted on October 6th, 2014

Nonis could be classified as a person who tried to ‘do his job’.  The Diplomat’ magazine once named Chris Nonis as the ‘diplomat of the year’.  He was capable of achieving that singular honour from amongst 164 diplomats in Great Britain. It is indeed a rare honor for a Sri Lankan.  It is such a person that has fallen prey to his own indecent political masters.

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The UNP has called upon the government to conduct an impartial inquiry into a recent incident where UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena allegedly assaulted Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis in the US.

Dr. Nonis resigned from his post in protest against the attack.

UNP Gampaha District MP Karu Jayasuriya has, in a media statement, said: “The physical assault by Sajin Vass Gunawardene, MP is a clear reflection on the country’s tragic situation.  This is the first  time ever since Independence that a parliamentarian has resorted to such demeaning behaviour- attacking a diplomat who was on a State-related visit to another country. The matter is even worse in that, the attacker happens to be the Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Sri Lanka inaugurated her foreign service on October 1, 1949. Although there have been many criticisms and fault-finding with our Foreign Service and those who handle it, never was there such a blatantly despicable incident. This is total collapse of our Foreign Service and its handlers. Out of 49 diplomatic positions created by this regime no less than 35 have been filled up by stooges of the regime who have chosen to treat Foreign Service like a tool for their own social and financial advancement. The only credential that is required is blind loyalty to those who govern.

“Even the victim in this particular incident happens to be a political appointee. Even though we might have very legitimate and credible misgivings about Chris Nonis, we believe that he made an attempt to advance the cause of Sri Lanka as a diplomat. Although it looked utterly politically-motivated, Nonis could be classified as a person who tried to ‘do his job’.  The Diplomat’ magazine once named Chris Nonis as the ‘diplomat of the year’.  He was capable of achieving that singular honour from amongst 164 diplomats in Great Britain. It is indeed a rare honor for a Sri Lankan.  It is such a person that has fallen prey to his own indecent political masters.

“What is even more humorous is the way in which the masters of Nonis reacted to this tragic incident. Instead of holding an impartial inquiry about an incident in which a loyal supporter of the Government was manhandled in a foreign land, the regime has decided to investigate some unfounded allegations made by the Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs. As in all other instances, the accuser has ended up being the victim and convicted.

“Our emphatic appeal to the Government is to hold an impartial inquiry into this shameful incident that has brought utter disgrace to our Foreign Service. The incident had taken place where there were well-known witnesses present. That alone should enable the Government to hold a clear and impartial investigation. But the question is whether the President of the land is willing and able to hold such an impartial inquiry at all.

“There have been many reports in the media about Sajin Vass Gunawardena, whose name has been involved in this dishonourable episode. The media has exposed the way in which Gunawardene has squandered millions of rupees under the pretext of uplifting the country’s image in the international marketplace. But no investigation has been held nor have any questions been raised by the governing quarters.   It is well known that, although there is a legitimate Minster of External Affairs, it is Sajin Vass who controls the Ministry and its mechanics. While taking the controlling switch into his grasp, this person has been behaving as if the Ministry of External Affairs is his personal fiefdom. If this is the way this Government is treating our Foreign Service, then God save our Foreign Service!

“When I heard about this incident, I was immediately reminded of a stage play that is currently being enacted on city stages- “Bound for assault” (Guti Kemata niyamithai).  It is quite apt to say that the entire country is on the verge of an assault by the Government.  Sajin Vass has given advance publicity to that ominous prediction.”

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