THE FOREIGN SERVICE GETS A BLOOD TRANSFUSION

27 August 2013 04:26 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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I need to flag some good news which was that the government had recruited twenty seven into the Foreign Service as Cadets after holding an open competitive examination.

Though we have a separate Foreign Service I regret to state it is not as professional as for example is the Indian or Pakistani Foreign Services – for no fault of its members. There are today more outsiders serving in our Missions than professional Diplomats.  Whilst no regular recruitment procedure has been followed, the training has also not been what is needed but worse still is that all manner of people from outside the Service have been and are being appointed to our Missions abroad on the basis of their connections to powerful politicians.



"the government must undertand the challenges facing the country and stop appointing every Dick, Tom and Harry to our Missions abroad to safeguard our national interest --- there was a time when  Caesar sent a horse to represent him --- but we need not emulate him in the 21st Century"



This is a crime against the nation and a betrayal of Public Trust; some years ago as a public spirited citizen, I brought an action in the Supreme Court to put an end to this practice (I was only assisted financially by one other colleague). Unfortunately the SC ruled that the President had the power, in terms of the Vienna Convention, to appoint anyone –totally ignoring the principle or the doctrine of Public Trust and our national interest; the fact is that this was a gross abuse of power.

The exercise of power must surely fulfill the objective for which such power was conferred, the appointments that were being made then were arbitrary and there was no basis for the making of such appointments to our missions abroad. I wish once again to state that power vested in public authorities is held on the basis of Trust – may I recall that President Rajapaksa in his first speech after asuming office stated that he was in office as the TRUSTEE for the people of this country!   

We do need a ‘Foreign Service Act’ most urgently to create a professional Foreign Service in our national interest as is found in many countries. Without offence to modesty I wish to state that I researched, studied such Acts in a few countries, prepared a draft of an Act and forwarded it to the government but most unfortunately I could not ‘market it’ and the then government failed to bring the legislation though it is in the country’s  interest to have a truly professional Foreign Service. A copy of the draft is available with me and could be made available to anyone interested.



"We do need a ‘Foreign Service Act’ most urgently to create a professional Foreign Service in our national interest as is found in many countries. Without offence to modesty I wish to state that I researched, studied such Acts in a few countries,"



In this fast globalising world special skills and training are absolutely necessary to discharge the duties of a Diplomat and the government must undertand the challenges facing the country and stop appointing every Dick, Tom and Harry to our Missions abroad to safeguard our national interest --- there was a time when  Caesar sent a horse to represent him --- but we need not emulate him in the 21st Century.

Let us hope that the government would bring an Act of Parliament and create a professional Foreign Service for our country.
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  • BandulaJ Sydney Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:51 AM

    True, thats why you were kicked out of Malaysia and appointed all time loser Dawlagala in your place

    Nirmala Wednesday, 28 August 2013 01:40 PM

    If this is done it will be a step in the right direction.


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