Some Rajapaksa era DPLs were people smugglers, parliament told

By Saman Indrajith

Some diplomatic officers who got appointments to Sri Lankan missions abroad engaged in human smuggling during the period of Mahinda Rajapaksa government, Parliament was told yesterday.

They did so making use of the allocation made for them to take persons abroad from Sri Lanka for the post of Personal Service Assistants. Later, they released those assistants in those countries to find other jobs there and they would not return home at the end of their assignments. There are 100 Sri Lankans who had been taken abroad by diplomatic officers as Personal Service Assistants at large in those countries, Chief Government Whip Mass Media and Parliament Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said.

The Minister said so responding to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, the Minister tabled the names, passport numbers and addresses of persons who had gone missing from 2005 to 2015.

The Minister said the Foreign Ministry had informed the police of those countries through the Lankan diplomatic offices of the Lankans living there after crossing the borders using official channels.

MP Ratnayake said: "There is no need to take action against the personal assistants who switched from their jobs and disappeared there. Action should be taken against those officials who took them there using the official allocations provided to them and earned money. Those human smugglers disrespected the foreign service."

The Minister said he would bring the issue to the notice of the Foreign Minister.

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