With political appointees holding many a top diplomatic post overseas and the government policy of requiring career diplomats to do a turn in the home country after each stint abroad, diplomatic observers are expecting a glut of very senior officers in Colombo in the coming weeks.
According to Foreign Office sources, three senior career officers who have returned to Colombo have been accommodated as Senior Assistant Secretaries in the Foreign Ministry. They are J. Palipana, M. Maharoof and P. Kariyawasam.
As the stipulated cadre of Senior Assistant Secretaries in the Ministry are already full with the above three appointments, sources said all others returning senior hands will have to do their local stint at a government kachcheri.
With these three appointments, according to sources, the Foreign Ministry will have filled its vacancies for Senior Assistant Secretaries, and all other returning senior hands will have to do their local stint at a Government Kachcheri.
Those earmarked for Kachcheri postings are T. Samsudeen, who has been serving in Mauritius with the IORAC; Ambassador Pamela Deen, who has returned from The Hague, and Ambassador Chitranganee Wagissara from Paris.
Meanwhile, the evergreen former civil servant Lionel Fernando, who has been tipped to assume duties as Ambassador in Paris, according to sources, may have run out of luck. The authorities are said to be looking for an alternative.
Since retirement, Mr. Fernando has held a number of posts under various governments. He has also served as Sri Lanka ambassador to The Netherlands under the Chandrika Kumaratunga regime.