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Eleven foreign service career officers appointed

On the recommendation of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, President Kumaratunga has approved the nominations of eleven foreign service career officers as Heads of Mission to various countries.

Among the career officers appointed as Ambassadors/High Commissioners are M.J. Palipane (19 years service) as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, N. Sikkander (23 years service) as Ambassador to Sweden, B.A.B. Goonetilleke (34 years service) as High Commissioner to Canada. Ranjith Uyangoda (19 years service) as Ambassador to Japan, Mrs. Pamela J. Deen (23 years service) as Ambassador to The Netherlands.

Prasad Kariyawasam (23 years service) as Permanent representative to the United Nations, New York, A.M.J. Sadiq (16 years service) Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Aruni Wijewardena (16 years service) as Ambassador to Austria, Mrs. C. Wagiswara (23 years service) as Ambassador to France, W.M. Seneviratne (19 years service) as Ambassador to The Philippines and M. Mahroof (19 years service) as Ambassador to Oman.

The other appointments include a former foreign service officer, N. Navaratnarajah (34 years service) as Ambassador to Poland and Neville Ranasuriya, former Chairman Employers Federation of Ceylon, Institute of Personnel Management, Brooke Bonds Ltd., and director MJF Group with 42 years experience in the tea trade as Ambassador to the Russian Federation, states a Foreign Affairs Ministry press release.

The release adds: These nominations will become effective as appointments, once the formal procedures have been completed with the High Posts Committee of Parliament and receiving Governments.

These appointments follow the recent policy announced by Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar to assign senior officials of the career service to head most of the Sri Lanka Missions abroad.

The proposed appointments represent the largest single batch of career officers appointed as Sri Lanka Ambassadors in the recent past. During the past two years, the career service Heads of Mission accounted for only about 40% and with the present and other forthcoming appointments, this is expected to go beyond 60%.

In keeping with the policy of enhancing professionalism in the conduct of foreign affairs, the Ministry will soon be holding an open competitive examination to recruit a further batch of young graduates to fill the vacant cadre positions in the Foreign Service.

Several foreign service officers who are posted abroad are expected to return to Sri Lanka soon to take up duties in the Ministry.

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