New appointments in diplomatic service

Several high profile diplomatic appointments are on the cards in the coming weeks – with the appointees including those from outside the Foreign Service. At least five of the appointments from outside the Foreign Service have been finalized.

These include former Minister Ferial Ashraff as smbassador to Singapore, former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda as ambassador to Japan, Buddhi Athauda, the son of Minister Athauda Seneviratna, to the Netherlands, W.M. Wijeratne to South Korea and Oshadi Alahapperuma, a relative of Minister Dullus Allahaperuma, to Sweden.

From within the Foreign Service, too, several new appointments have been finalized. Director General/East Asia M.R. Gunaratne has been named ambassador-designate to Lebanon. The incumbent ambassador Meerasahib Mahroof, who retires from the Foreign Service in September, will continue till April/May until the agreement for the new appointment is obtained from the government of Lebanon. Mr. Gunaratne would also concurrently serve as ambassador to Syria.

Consular Affairs Director General Asoka Girihagama has been named ambassador-designate to Oman. He will succeed A. Ranarajah who retires from the Foreign Service next month. A. L. A. Azeez, Director General in charge of the Middle East is ambassador-designate to Austria while. A.I. Ratnapala, Chief of Protocol, is the high commissioner-designate to Malaysia.

C.A.H.M. Wijeratne, Director General/Multilateral Affairs, is ambassador-designate to Kuwait where there is a vacancy now while Senior Additional Secretary Jayantha Palipane will fill the vacant position as ambassador to Qatar. The nomination of Mr. Palipane follows the recent visit of the External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris to Qatar.

Additional Secretary Ranjith Uyangoda will be Sri Lanka’s next ambassador to China replacing Karunaratne Amunugama who is expected to return to Colombo next month and is likely to serve as Additional Secretary.

Ravinatha Aryasinha will continue in Brussels as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to European Union. Aruni Wijewardena who was expected to replace him in Belgium has opted to take up an academic position in a University in California for three years. T. Raveenthiran, Director General in charge of Africa is due to go to Nairobi as ambassador in May.

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