ACSA backer Kariyawasam now a paid employee of US government
Posted on June 10th, 2019

Courtesy The Sunday Times

A former Sri Lanka diplomat and Foreign Secretary who allegedly pressurised the Defence Ministry to rush through the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between Sri Lanka and the United States is now a US federal government employee.

Prasad Kariyawasam is employed by the US federal government backed Agency for International Development (USAID), a federal entity. The agency’s Colombo office has placed him as an Advisor to Parliament of Sri Lanka. Erroneously, sometimes Mr Kariyawasam’s appointment has been referred to as Advisor to the Speaker. The USAID has been periodically helping providing experts to help Parliamentary Oversight Committees.

As reported in the Sunday Times last week, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Germany, Engineer Karunasena Hettiaratchchi, former Defence Secretary, told President Maithripala Sirisena on the telephone that Mr Kariyawasam pressurised him to expedite the ACSA by obtaining Cabinet approval. The ACSA was signed on August 4, 2017. This was when he was awaiting observations from the armed forces commanders at that time expressing strong reservations. Another who mounted pressure on him, Mr Hettiaratchchi told President Sirisena, was then Foreign Minister

By virtue of his new USAID appointment, Mr Kariyawasam has found his name in the guest lists of most western diplomatic missions in Colombo. Last month, he attended a dinner at Jefferson House, the official residence of the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, for former envoy Robert O’Blake.

In terms of the ACSA, a large number of US defence and military establishments have been granted access to Sri Lanka, as exclusively revealed in the Sunday Times(Political Commentary) of May 19.

One Response to “ACSA backer Kariyawasam now a paid employee of US government”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Correction – ACSA was signed on March 11, 2007 by Robert Blake and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It was extended on August 4, 2017.

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