1. Arbitrary and immediate recall of 29 Head of Missions has exposed the political immaturity and the attitude of vengeance and revenge of the Government that has now fallen apart.
2. In spite of having only a 100-day mandate to govern, the high handed and shallow action of recalling all envoys was stupid not knowing what it takes to send replacements and mechanism involved in handling foreign relations with foreign countries.
3. Except for few glaring misfits, majority of Head of Missions were performing reasonably well and in some instances exceptionally well in improving relations and trade and commerce (Far better than foreign service officers in some instances).
4. A detailed analysis and comparison of key performance indicators of a Head of Missions by way of political support, votes at key resolutions, favorable statements, increased exports, investment, tourist arrivals, high level political and commercially important visits will clearly determine the efficiency.
5. Irrespective of how they performed all non-foreign service Head of Mission were recalled creating a serious vacuum (four months have now lapsed and replacements have not yet reported to the Missions and further few months will lapse before they finally report).
6. Some of the missions are currently headed by clerical clerks (Public Management Assistants) as only foreign service officers who were acting are now in Colombo for training.
7. This pathetic situation in the eyes of the host country other Missions in the capitals and the Sri Lanka community has become an embarrassing situation, damaging the good image and the reputation built over the years.
8. Considering retired Head of Military Commanders appointed as Heads of Mission as political appointees is incorrect as they are professional government public servants having served many governments in senior positions of a vital arm of National Security for long periods extending well over three decades. Their loyalty to the country and the government is undoubted when compared to businessmen. Such heroes to be categorized in to the same basket as businessmen, private sector officials, friends, classmates or schoolmates, family friends, relations and academics, etc., who have over three years accumulated unprecedented wealth through shares and business profits and 6 or 7 figure salaries is grossly unfair.
9. In this instance Head of Missions of Pakistan, Thailand, Japan and Australia were former Heads of Military and were recalled with one months notice although their letter of appointment covered for further few months. This was a straight forward termination of employment without giving any reason for termination. All of these highly decorated officers and were great assets to the foreign service and the government and not deadweights or burden like some Head of Missions including some foreign service officers.
10. Having recalled these Military Heads, the government has now in the new list of Head of Missions included two Heads of the Army who served the previous government. One-of them was appointed to the Head of Military post in 2009 along with one of those recalled Head of Missions.
“A serious inconsistency and unprofessional way of handling high post selection.”
11. The basis on which the latest non-foreign service Head of Missions are selected is best known to this government in the same way how the previous government selected Head of Mission outside the foreign service. How do they compare to those who are recalled? What are their credentials, affiliations, expertise, professional competence, exposure to the job of a Head of Mission. Government in the eyes of Yahapalanaya is duty bound to explain to the public their connections and basis of selection before people start speculating with school, family, friends, relation and personal affiliations.
12. If across the board recall by the Yahapalanaya government is justified, then how if in a possible event the government change hand, will they justify recalling all those non-foreign service officers including former Military Commanders who are expected to take up appointment shortly.
13. When making such important decisions, country, the institution and the efficient performance must be the only criterion and not revenge, ego, personal agenda or political affiliation.
14. Over to you the President and Foreign Minister.