Sri Lanka to revamp diplomatic presence in India

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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse
THE HINDU Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse

Sri Lanka is planning to expand its diplomatic presence in India by revamping its consulates and adding more officials to its offices in the country, with the Cabinet approving a proposal in this regard.

The Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Minister of External Affairs G. L. Pieris to expand Sri Lanka’s diplomatic and consular representations in India in an “expansion of the existing missions in India to suit the present day needs”.

Accordingly, the Deputy High Commission in Chennai will have two additional Tamil-speaking officers from the public service.

A senior Sri Lankan overseas service officer would head the Consulate General in Mumbai and a middle-ranking officer from the Department of Commerce would also be posted there.

An additional post at the High Commission in New Delhi would exclusively deal with Sri Lanka’s bilateral, economic, investment and trade relations with India.

A new Consulate General office in Kolkata will have the staff strength of a Consular General, a personal assistant, a Sri Lanka foreign service officer and an Attache.

The position of public management assistant would have Consular jurisdiction over the States of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and the North-Eastern States.

The appointment of Honorary Consuls for Sri Lanka in Hyderabad, Lucknow and Thiruvananthapuram are also part of the revamp of the diplomatic presence in India, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s relations with India plummeted to a low when India voted in favour of the US moved resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council last March.

Sri Lanka was banking on Indian support to thwart the US move which called for accountability over alleged rights abuses during the last phase of the military conflict with the LTTE.

Despite the vote, the bilateral relations with India have moved on with regular visits by Indian dignitaries to Colombo, which included a senior parliamentary delegation in April and the India trade show held last month.

(This article was published on August 31, 2012)
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As usual Sri Lankan is getting ready with its games plan to placate
Indian government to ward off criticism of UN HRC in its upcoming
session that will consider Universal Periodic Review of its human
rights record. India is heading a team of three nations appointed by
the head of UN HRC to report on the implementation of the terms of UN
HRC resolution in last March. Instead of implementing the
recommendations of its own LLRC and bring about reconciliation among
the ethnic communities Sri Lanka is wasting time and energy in
befriending nations to escape criticisms in the HRC. Mono-ethnic
military ill treats and controls ethnic Tamils in the north and east.

from:  Sarojini
Posted on: Sep 1, 2012 at 04:05 IST
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