Germans retaliate to summoning of envoy

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Germany, T.B. Maduwegedara, was summoned by the Foreign Office in Berlin on Friday, twenty four hours after his counterpart in Sri Lanka, Jurgen Weerth, was summoned to the Foreign Office in Colombo over his conduct at the funeral of slain Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge last Monday.

Ambassador Weerth had spoken at the funeral in his capacity as the dean of the Diplomatic Corp. in Sri Lanka, and had consulted other Colombo-based diplomats before he spoke. The Sunday Times learns that the German foreign office had asked Ambassador Maduwegedera what wrong Ambassador Weerth had committed at the funeral.

Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona who expressed the government's displeasure at Ambassador Weerth's speech told The Sunday Times he had called for a report from Mr. Maduwegedara "on the matter", but declined to give further details.

Ambassador Weerth in his funeral oration said, "Today is a day when one remains speechless," adding "maybe we should have spoken before this. Today it is too late."

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