President defends decision to recall Austrian envoys

views 599 2018-09-18 03:33:00 news

Sri Lanka’s president on Monday justified his decision to sack six diplomats -- including an ambassador -- for not answering his phone calls, saying more would follow if the foreign service did not shape up.

Maithripala Sirisena was criticized for the shock dismissal last week of his top envoy to Austria and five other Vienna-based staff after his office tried unsuccessfully for hours to reach them by phone.

“I am being attacked ferociously over social media for recalling the entire embassy staff. Yes, I did that to send a powerful message to other embassies,” Sirisena told a public meeting in Colombo.

He said he ordered the sacking of Ambassador Priyanee Wijesekera and five other staff to set an example.

Sirisena did not say why he needed to contact the embassy urgently, or why other avenues were not explored to reach the staffers.

The Sri Lankan embassy in Austria is accredited to UN bodies in Vienna, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

(under the courtesy of news web)

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