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“Power hungry elements trying to ‘white van’ my reputation – Dayan Jayathilaka

Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka hit back hard at the External Affairs Ministry yesterday, claiming “Power hungry conspiratorial elements are now trying to ‘white van’ my reputation, instead of examining how, why and where they failed in Geneva.”
 Dr. Jayatilleka was responding to the show cause letter sent by W.G.S. Prasanna, Acting Director General of the Overseas Administration Division of the External Affairs Ministry, asking why he should not be charged under the country’s Penal Code, for ‘alleged wrongdoings’ in the conduct of the affairs of the Embassy in Paris.

The alleged wrongdoings include repainting and whitewashing the Embassy and Ambassadorial residence buildings prior to the visit of External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and providing interim accommodation for a First Secretary at a hotel until he found a suitable house.

Dr. Jayatilleka rubbished the charges as ‘crazy, rather like the Darusman report and Channel 4 combined’ and said that as the entire country knows, the minor administrative tasks are not the duty of the Ambassador, especially not of an academic who is a political appointee of the President. “My task of representing and safeguarding Sri Lanka’s national interest in France, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is at a qualitatively different level,” he explained.

Dr. Jayatilleka also described the lengthy five-page letter, which had been faxed to him, as a ‘compilation and recycling’ of an anonymous petition forwarded by the Ministry in earlier months, but done in a ‘more vicious, outrageous and threatening manner. ‘

However, he said he had asked the relevant officers at the embassy to draft a response, to which he would attach a covering letter, but emphasized that all the issues brought up in the five-page letter had been responded to in detail by his mission in earlier months, when the Ministry forwarded the anonymous petition.

Ceylon Today understands that the unprecedented move to send a show cause notice to a high-ranking Ambassador had been carried out on the orders of two influential members of a powerful group controlling the Ministry of External Affairs. It is also seen as a preliminary strike aimed at paving the way for Dr. Jayatilleka’s removal from Paris. Ceylon Today also understands that a second secretary stationed in Paris had been summoned to Sri Lanka by high-ranking officials in Colombo as a prelude to the strike against Ambassador Jayatilleka.

However, Dr. Jayailleka dubbed the move a vicious smear campaign and said, “Having lost the resolution against Sri Lanka, some elements are trying to move a resolution against me, perhaps because, by contrast, I won a resolution for the country in 2009!”
He believed there was probably resentment at the recent loss in Geneva, which sharply contrasts with the victory he helped obtain for the country at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in 2009. “Having destroyed the solid 17 vote majority I obtained for the country, thus handing a victory to the pro-Tiger elements worldwide and making Sri Lanka vulnerable to external interference, these power-hungry conspiratorial elements are now trying to ‘white van’ my reputation, instead of examining how, why and where they failed in Geneva, ” he said.

Disheartened by the whole fiasco, Dr. Jayatilleka said he had relinquished a contract as a Senior Research Fellow at a think-tank of the prestigious National University of Singapore at which he was paid ten thousand Singapore dollars a month, because the country’s leadership and its new foreign minister requested him to return to the task of representing Sri Lanka in the wake of the challenges and danger posed by the Darusman report. “Unlike some others I have never been in jail for fraud nor have I had scandalous audit reports concerning huge sums of money spent on the renovation of official residences wherever I served,” he said.
Ceylon Today Online


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