Media Release: Minister Peiris refutes unfounded allegations against Ministry Secretary
Posted on October 21st, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE  Ministry of External Affairs Colombo 

The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris has strongly rejected malicious news reports appearing in certain sections of the media recently, imputing impropriety on the part of the Secretary to the Ministry, Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne in the award of a contract for the renovation of the official residence of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva.

Issuing a Statement, Minister Peiris has stated that while wrongdoing should not go unpunished, it is important to ensure that officials performing their public duty in good faith are accorded legitimate protection. This is especially so, as public officials have limited opportunity to defend themselves, and unfounded and reckless allegations are bound to affect their morale.

The Minister further noted that it is a matter for deep regret that the gravest of allegations should have been hurled against a senior public official with such blatant irresponsibility and with so little regard for the truth.

The full text of the Minister’s Statement is given below;.

Statement  given by Prof. G.L. Peiris, M.P. Minister of External Affairs

Extensive publicity has been given during the last few days to a series of allegations that Ms. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, has been guilty of impropriety in connection with the award of a contract for the renovation of the official residence of the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2009.

The attempt has also been made to heighten the gravity of the allegation by the assertion that the contract was awarded to a company, the owner of which was arrested by the Swiss Police for LTTE-connected activities.

While wrongdoing should certainly not go unpunished, it is important to ensure that officials performing their public duty in good faith, are accorded legitimate protection.  This is so, especially because they have limited opportunity to defend themselves.  Unfounded and reckless allegations are bound to have an adverse effect on morale.

The clearest example of this is the reference, in connection with the award of the contract, to a personality involved in activities of the LTTE.

The facts are quite different.  Mr. U. L.M. Jauhar, Head of Chancery of the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva at the time, addressed a letter on 12th April 2012 to Mr. Pierre-Yves Huguenin, of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, in the following terms:

I am writing to you seeking your assistance to find information about a Sri Lankan expatriate of Tamil origin with regard to his alleged affiliation to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Network.

The Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva obtained the services of the Shelva Zug of Zurich, owned by Mr. P.T. Thurairajah in November 2009 to renovate the official residence of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UN.

We have seen an internet posting alleging that Mr. Thurairajah  is an LTTE member and he was among those arrested by the Swiss Police during a crackdown on money laundering by the LTTE.

I would appreciate very much if you could assist me to find this information before my departure to Sri Lanka after completion of my tour of duty in Geneva, by Saturday 14th April 2012.”

Mr. Huguenin, on 27th April 2012, responded to Mr. Jauhar as follows:

Following your request, I can inform you that there is no indication that the individual mentioned in your message would have been arrested by the Swiss Police, or that he would be linked to the organization mentioned in your email.”

It would seem, then, that three years after the contract was performed, the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service had no information that the owner of the company was arrested or even that he had any link to the LTTE.

As for the alleged role of Mrs. Senewiratne in this matter, the sequence of events, ascertained from documents in the possession of this Ministry, is conclusive.  The Procurement Committee approved the award of the contract on 5th November 2009.  Mrs. Senewiratne, however, arrived in Geneva and assumed duties only on 15th November.  All matters pertaining to the contract had been finalized prior to her arrival in Geneva, and it is absolutely clear that she had no involvement in the matter at all.

It is a matter for deep regret that the gravest of allegations should have been hurled against a senior public official with such blatant irresponsibility and with so little regard for the truth.

Prof. G.L. Peiris, M.P.

Minister of External Affairs

21st October 2014

 

7 Responses to “Media Release: Minister Peiris refutes unfounded allegations against Ministry Secretary”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    What a foolish decision to pay a Tamil business to do up the government office! They can spy and fix spying equipment which are VERY CHEAP.

    Geneva office is VERY crucial because UNHRC head office is in Geneva!!! May be this was how Tamils got to know what we were trying to do at the UNHRC WELL BEFORE it was published!!

    LTTE is NOT the concern. Tamil separatism, TGTE, GTF, etc. is the concern. GLP is trying to whitewash KS, etc.

    Ultimately NO ONE will take responsibility!

    Go to google. Type kshenuka namal in search box. Click “images”. Look at the first image. It says a thousand words.

    Lets see WHAT is RIGHT FOR THE NATION, not WHO is right.

  2. Marco Says:

    Oh dear- a farcical statement issued by the Minister of External Affairs in relation to alleged impropriety of a Secretary to the External Ministry that was originally highlighted by a report of the Auditor Generals Dept. from the Finance Ministry
    Should it not be the AG Dept/ Finance Ministry issue this statement?
    Why is GLP being selective in his exposure of email correspondence that effectively “clears” MR Thurairajah of LTTE connections? Why did he not comment on the AG report on the alleged connections. Why be selective?
    In the statement he refers to a 10 day period before the sanction of the work and the Secretary assuming duties. Would he be able to divulge the date of the appointment of the Secretary and the date that the Secretary arrived in Geneva prior to assuming duties?
    Why did the Minister not mention the statement made by the Swiss Attorney Generals Office of January 2011 in relation to Mr Thurairajah?

    The statement asks more questions than answers.
    He should have ignored this. END
    Typically an ill-conceived statement that can only be at the behest of the Monitor

  3. radha Says:

    Did not see such protectionism for Ambassador Nonis, a high profile government servant and public figure, when this woman was involved in beating him up in the company of a prominent gangster and supervisory mp.

  4. Nanda Says:

    ” Look at the first image. It says a thousand words.” – but Nimal personally knows her. May be looked better those days !

  5. Nanda Says:

    Instead of renovating the old unsecure house and installing a good modern security system, MR resorted to buying few lame dogs. what a irony ? They can only bark.

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    It says a thousand words.- it say only two words
    live & lets live until Eelam war V.

    why this kolavri , all these are imaginesion ……
    VP & CO gone , gone for ever.

    let me go back to my 33(38) years day dream
    Nampungal , Naalai pirakkum Thamil Eelam .

  7. douglas Says:

    Marco: You are the “BEST MONITOR” because the “ADVICE” you gave to the Minister EAM is “THE BEST” : “He should have ignored this. END”.

    Anyway adding to what you said, our Hon. Minister should have known that there was a “Management Audit Report on Affairs of Financial Management – Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva” submitted by three eminent persons appointed by the Secretary to Treasury. That committee was headed by no lesser person than Mr. D.Widanagamachchi, the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury. The contents of that report are “horrible” and “unbelievable”.

    Did he care to look at that report? I doubt. If he did, he would have had second thoughts in issuing this statement. Or on the other hand were his arms “twisted” to sign and issue the statement? Only his conscious will answer these questions. Anyway I too agree: “He should have ignored this” in the best interest of the country.

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