- One staying at the official residence, the other in a hotel
By Thilina De Silva
The newly appointed ambassador for Sri Lanka in the Netherlands was forced to stay at a hotel in that country since his official residence had not been made available to him, diplomatic sources revealed.
According to these sources, the new ambassador Sumith Nakandala has been compelled to stay in a hotel because his predecessor has not handed over his residence after his stint ended.
Mr.Nakandala assumed duties as the new ambassador in the Netherlands several weeks ago and has been staying in a hotel in the Hague until the official residence due to him becomes vacant. However, as of now both the former ambassador and his replacement are in the Hague, the diplomatic sources said.
In the meantime, a party to felicitate the outgoing ambassador had been organised on June 19 but he had not attended the party. It was noted that the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands had also focused its attention on the activities of the former envoy in that country.
It was revealed that both the former ambassador and his replacement Nakandala are senior officials in the Sri Lankan foreign service. Mr. Nakandala had served as an additional secretary to the Ministry of foreign affairs before assuming duties as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the Netherlands. In addition he had served as ambassador in Nepal and the deputy Sri Lankan high commissioner to London.
His predecessor had served in many countries including Brazil where he served as the ambassador making their activities all the more surprising.
However, when a senior official of the foreign ministry was asked about the reason for there to be two ambassadors presently in the Netherlands, he said there is no official information with him on what had taken place but that he would know more after they look into the matter today (8).
He however clarified that an ambassador who was appointed generally takes over his duties in the respective countries after handing over his or her credentials to the leader of that country and that while his predecessor was not allowed to stay on in that country it sometimes takes a while to bring back the personal belongings of the outgoing ambassador and that could be the explanation for this mix-up.