SL’s Deputy HC in London to be replaced?

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner, Neville de Silva, a veteran journalist, who has completed two years in London, is expected to be replaced by Dr. Chanka Thalpahewa.

However, the High Commission in London has not been officially informed of his proposed appointment. 

When the Sunday Island asked about the two years he spent here, de Silva said that he came to London with "great expectations" from Bangkok, where he was deputy chief of mission.

"I had lived here for 10 years working as a journalist. So it was not that I did not know the media or local politics. Initially, I did not want to accept a diplomatic posting, but when I eventually did, I chose to go to Southeast Asia, specifically Bangkok, where I was able to work with two good ambassadors and also run the mission for more than four months until the present ambassador arrived", he recalled.

" When I was asked to go to London after  three and a half years in Bangkok, I came here with great expectations about what to do and what can be done. Unfortunately, those expectations could not be fulfilled for reasons which are better left unsaid for the moment. Maybe, I could give a more detailed explanation when I write my book", de Silva said.

He served as a senior journalist at Lake House from where he was recruited by the Hong Kong Standard newspaper as a feature writer and editorialist. He rose to become its diplomatic editor, political columnist and assistant editor and was also a political radio commentator.

He later moved to London as the Europe Editor of the Hong Kong Standard and when that paper changed hands, he worked for Gemini News Service, then run by the Panos Institute. He also edited the Commonwealth Feature Service and wrote regular columns for the Commonwealth Press Union for which he was also a journalism training consultant conducting workshops for Pacific region journalists as far away as the Solomon Islands.

De Silva was the London correspondent for the Sunday Times and a columnist for it when he was appointed to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Bangkok. He has written widely for many newspapers abroad including the New York Times and The Guardian in the UK.   


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