Former Sri Lankan diplomat missing in London

After his services were terminated in March, 2015

by Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

A former diplomat in the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, has gone missing and the Colombo Magistrate’s Court has allowed the police to seek Interpol assistance to trace him.

High Commission sources said that Sepala Ratnayake’s services had been terminated on March 4, 2015 and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London has been informed that he is no longer a diplomat. This means that Ratnayake has lost his diplomatic immunity rights and could be arrested.

He has been accused as the main conspirator of a ‘child abuse’ case, where a 14-year-old was used in a campaign to defame Maithripala Sirisena during the run up to the presidential election, the sources claimed.

A lawyer by profession, Ratnayake was serving in the Presidential Secretariat as the chief legal officer at the time and was posted as the Minister (Consular & Immigration) in the Sri Lankan High Commission in London in November 2013.

He had been given special leave by the then High Commissioner, Chris Nonis to leave for Sri Lanka to play an active role in the presidential poll campaign. During the fray, he visited London for just two days to attend a pirith ceremony organized by the High Commission to invoke blessings on the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa on his birthday, The Sunday Island learns.

Although it is customary to provide air tickets and sea freight to diplomats who leave for Sri Lanka after their service period, Ratnayake has opted out of these benefits. He had also returned his keys and other belongings of the High Commission through a friend, the sources said.

It has been reported that Ratnayake was living with a friend in Birmingham and unconfirmed reports says that he is planning to claim asylum in the UK.

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