|Who authorised FM’s son to
issue official statements?
Minister Rohitha Bogollagama made yet another bureaucratic
blunder by permitting his son Dhakshitha to issue an ‘official
statement’ with regard to the SAARC Council of Ministers, which
concluded on Friday in New Delhi.
The move, dubbed as callous disregard for normal ethical
practice, occurred on Friday evening when Dhakshitha, an
unofficial ‘adviser’ to Minister Bogollagama who accompanied his
father to India, issued a statement from his very own personal
email address on the conclusion of the SAARC meeting. The
statement was emailed to almost all leading print and electronic
media outlets, including to The Nation newspaper. “It is the
Public Communications Division or the Sri Lankan Mission in New
Delhi that is authorised to issue such statements, but this is a
very unprecedented move by the Foreign Minister and his son,”
highly placed Foreign Ministry sources told The Nation on
condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, when The Nation contacted the Public Communication
Division’s Director General Ravinatha Ariyasinghe yesterday, he
expressed he was unaware of the matter and requested the
reporter to query the issue from his second-in-command.
However, following continuous persistence by this newspaper,
Ariyasinghe did finally acknowledge that it was not appropriate
for the Minister’s son to issue a news release from his personal
“The most appropriate step would have been for us to issue that
news release,” he noted.
Meanwhile, several hours later, Ariyasinghe called the reporter
back where he stated that after checking up on the matter with
New Delhi, it had transpired that the Sri Lankan High
Commissioner in New Delhi had drafted the release and used
Dhakshita’s email address to issue the statement.
“The release has been sent by the High Commissioner since only
Dhakshitha’s laptop had been available at that time, and they
had used his email to issue the statement,” Ariyasinghe said.
Romesh Jayasinghe, one of the most senior career diplomats in
the service, once tipped to be the Foreign Secretary, is Sri
Lanka’s High Commissioner in New Delhi.
When Ariyasinghe was asked whether Dhakshita has any official
post at the Ministry he said, “I don’t know whether he has an
official position but from time to time he travels with his