UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa recently alleged that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was hiring a private consultant firm based in Hong Kong, to organise his upcoming official visit to China.
Tweeting on Saturday, the MP questioned as to why a private consultant was hired to attend to the needs of the official visit, instead of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
He said the alleged stance was in a bid to restore and bolster the Sri Lanka-China friendship.
“The Premier expects to revive the bankrupt economy of Sri Lanka from the visit. It was he, as the Opposition Leader, who once accused Chinese establishments of being crooks and Mahinda Rajapaksa of stealing funds borrowed from them. The Prime Minister should reveal the true reason of hiring a private firm and also the sum they have spent to receive their service,” he said.
With an undercurrent of sarcasm, the MP further questioned the level of competence of the Foreign Affairs Ministry officials and other envoys. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Consultancy for technical concerns only – Harsha
Refuting the claims and allegations made by MP Namal Rajapaksa that the Hong Kong based private consultant firm was hired to facilitate the Prime Minister’s visit to China, and to patch-up the relationship between the two sides, the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday said the entire visit was organised by the government.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva told the Daily Mirror that the Premier’s tour was handled by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), and that the firm was hired only to seek technical and political assistance in China.
“The arrangements for the visit are being done by the Prime Minister’s Office together with the Foreign Affairs Ministry. We have not outsourced the organising to anyone else. The consultation is specific and short-term, and there is nothing wrong with it.
These types of consultations happen all the time. We can do consultations anywhere we wish to. The consultant is very close to the political and business leadership of China,” he said.
Commenting on making groundwork for the visit, the Deputy Minister stated that the GoSL had bolstered the Sri Lankan Mission in Beijing to facilitate the visit and added that Ambassador Dr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku was already making necessary arrangements.
“Senior career diplomats have been sent to China to attend to necessary arrangements on the visit. Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Sagala Ratnayake were already in China couple of weeks ago. The Foreign Affairs Ministry is doing all what needs to be done,” he said.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is to visit China in the first week of April. (Lahiru Pothmulla)