Jan 07, 2022

SL Embassy in Japan faces closure over Ambassador's negligence Featured

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo, Japan is to be closed for several days due to the negligence of Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Sanjeev Gunasekara, according to Foreign Affairs Ministry sources.

This is due to the fact that the ambassador has been identified as a Covid infected person and some of his closest associates have been on duty at the embassy over the past two days.

According to these sources, Ambassador Sanjeev Gunasekera returned to Japan from the United States on January 05th  afternoon after  nearly 50 day leave.

He left the airport after a brief search, using diplomatic privileges at the Japanese airport, but was informed by the Foreign Ministry at around 3.00 am the next day (06) that PCR tests had confirmed that the ambassador had tested positive for Covid.

Sri Lanka's Deputy Ambassador to Japan Chandana Weerasena and the Philippine driver, who had gone to the airport to pick him up and returned in the same vehicle, were the closest acquaintances and had both returned to work at the embassy that day.

In this situation, the Ambassador and his Public Relations Officer Sanath Herath have been placed under quarantine in  the Embassy premises and the relevant staff of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan have been immediately quarantined.

Therefore, will the Thaipongal festival that was organized to be held at the embassy on January 12 still go ahead? Or not?  It is reported that no decision has been taken so far regarding the matter.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan embassy in Tokyo had been closed on two occasions due to embassy staff testing positive for Covid.

The embassy was once closed for several days due to a public relations officer, who was a friend of the ambassador and had stayed at his at the embassy's official residence, testing positive.

It is said that when Sanjeev Gunasekera arrived at the airport from when returning to Japan from the US on December 31, the American airport authorities had taken steps to send him back due to a visa issue.

Special Privileges: When

Sanjeev Gunasekera visited Sri Lanka in April last year due to the sudden death of his father and was severely criticized on social media for being given special privileges to go straight to hism home from the airport at a time when  the entire country was in lock-down and quarantine was mandatory all foreign passengers.

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Sanjeev Gunasekara is said to be a close friend  of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. It is reported that he runs a Montessori in the United States and is a resident near Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's American residence.

Sources at the Katunayake airport said that when even the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan was on lock-down during the height of the Covid pandemic, he disregarded all the quarantine regulations and had his own way using the President’s name and powers.