Former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has been picked to head the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations (UN) in New York, while senior journalist C.A. Chandraprema will go as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, the Daily FT learns.
Peiris will replace Kshenuka Senewiratne, a career diplomat who headed the New York Mission since last August. She was recalled earlier this month.
The top spot at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva has been vacant since last December, with Dayani Mendis as its Acting Permanent Representative. Chandraprema has been picked to fill this vacancy.
Their names have been set to the High Post Committee (HPC) of Parliament for confirmation, official sources said. Meanwhile the HPC is expected to consider six other nominees of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa named to head Sri Lanka overseas missions this week.
The HPC called for representations from individuals and organisations in connection with six nominees with the closing day falling on 23 September.
The six nominees are former Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, who is to head the mission in Washington DC; former University of Colombo Vice Chancellor Kshanika Hirimburegama to France; a former Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one-time Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Palitha Kohona as ambassador to Beijing, China; former Minister and businessman Milinda Moragoda to New Delhi, India; Sanjiv Gunasekera as Ambassador to Tokyo, Japan; and former Navy Commander Admiral Piyal De Silva as Ambassador to Afghanistan.
The HPC is tasked with examining the suitability of any person nominated for posts of Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of Missions abroad and Chairpersons of selected Corporations etc. and call for public representation after the names of the nominees are forwarded to it.
When a nomination is received by the Secretary to the Committee, the nominee is required to submit his/her bio-data together with a Declaration of Assets and Liabilities in a prescribed form for examination by the Committee.
The 18 members named to the HPC of the new Parliament are Chamal Rajapaksa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena, Johnston Fernando, Douglas Devananda, Bandula Gunawardana, Keheliya Rambukwella, Udaya Gammanpila, Ramesh Pathirana, Sudharshini Fernandopulle, Vidura Wickramanayake, John Seneviratne, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Vijitha Herath, Rishad Bathiudeen, Thalatha Atukorale, Sarath Fonseka and Dharmalingam Siddharthan.