President Maithripala Sirisena has given marching orders to his ambassador to Austria and five other embassy staff for failing to answer his long-distance telephone calls, officials said Saturday.
Ambassador Priyanee Wijesekera was recalled after she failed to answer his calls last week and no responsible officer was there to respond to the President, an official source said.
Wijesekera was a former Secretary General of Parliament who was appointed ambassador post-retirement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne confirmed the recall but did not say why they were being asked to return home abruptly despite having secured service extensions.
“Reports that all staff have been recalled are factually incorrect,” she said on twitter. “The Ambassador and several other staff members on extension have been asked to conclude their terms and return.”
A web-based media outlet had said 26 members of the Sri Lankan mission in Vienna were being given marching orders after President Sirisena failed to contact a responsible officer of the mission last week.
It was also not clear why the President needed to contact the embassy urgently or why he did not attempt to do so through the Foreign Ministry.
The Sri Lankan embassy in Austria is also accredited to UN agencies in Vienna as well as Bosnia Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Earlier this week, Sirisena flew into a rage over cashew nuts served aboard the island’s national carrier saying they were unfit “even for dogs.”
“Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn’t eat it,” Sirisena said on Monday.
An airline spokesman said it has responded by clearing its stock of cashews — only served in business class — and would change its Dubai-based supplier.