UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, who is alleged to have slapped Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis during a function in New York recently, hurriedly summoned press conference yesterday morning, but cancelled it at the eleventh hour.
An External Affairs Ministry official called The Island yesterday morning, to invite us for a media briefing to be given by Gunawardena at 9.30 am, but he said a little while later it would not be held due to the tight schedule of MP Gunawardena, who is also monitoring MP at the External Affairs Ministry.
Having profusely apologised for the inconvenience caused, the extremely courteous official explained that Gunawardena had been compelled to rush to the airport and join President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who would invite Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka early next year. “Mr. Gunawardena will hold a press conference when he returns in about a week’s time.”
Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle, responding to questions, at the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing on Tuesday said that Dr. Nonis had not resigned from his post. He said so after calling the External Affairs Ministry in the presence of the journalists.
“I am told that Dr.Nonis has not resigned as our High Commissioner in the UK and is still with us,” he said at the conclusion of his conversation.
Dr. Nonis, contacted over the telephone, on Tuesday night, for comment on the alleged New York incident said: “No comment. I do not wish to talk about the incident.”