Cabinet spokesperson’s remark on Dr. Chris Nonis was false – Report

Cabinet spokesperson’s remark on Dr. Chris Nonis was false – Report

Written by Staff Writer

14 Oct, 2014 | 9:12 pm

The cabinet spokesperson’s remark that Dr. Chris Nonis was not invited to the party where he was assaulted by an MP was false, the BBC Sandeshaya reported on Monday.

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had made this remark at the media briefing on cabinet decisions held last week.

[quote]The owner of the house or the host, has said that he did not invite the Ambassador you mentioned. There are several such factors in this matter. This problem should be taken up from this point.[/quote]

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According to the report on the BBC Sandeshaya, those who were present at the party held on the night of September 23 in New York have rejected the minister’s claim.

The BBC Sandeshaya reports, that the party in question was held at the New York home of a representative of a prominent airline in this country.

Quoting guests at the party, the BBC Sandeshaya reports that the airline representative had publicly invited Dr. Chris Nonis to his home at a dinner held at a restaurant the previous day.

The report states further that a large gathering including Major General Shavendra Silva, the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam and MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, were present at this dinner.

The report also reveals that Dr. Chris Nonis and Prasad Kariyawasam had travelled to this party in the same vehicle.

Speaking to News1st, the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Nonis, confirmed that he had been assaulted by Sajin de Vass Gunawardena at this party.

The BBC Sandeshaya report reveals further that as Sajin de Vass Gunawardena continued to attack Dr. Nonis; Prasad Kariyawasam and an Embassy official had immediately intervened to remove Gunawardena from the scene.

Despite this controversy, Dr. Chris Nonis who handed in his resignation to the President soon after, attended the 2014 convention of the UK Conservative Party in Birmingham a few days after his return to London, where he gave a glowing recommendation for his country.

Media reports noted further that Dr. Nonis had been met with questions regarding the incident in New York at this convention.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire, had reportedly told Dr. Nonis, “Chris, do you understand now why we are exerting such pressure internationally against the government of your country?”.

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has reportedly questioned whether Nonis was undergoing the same treatment he had endured in Maldives.

Dr. Chris Nonis, the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, had earlier confirmed that he left the Waldorf with the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam, on the invitation extended by Dilan Ariyawansa, the previous night.

Dr. Nonis had confirmed that he was invited by the host, Dilan Ariyawansa, as he had not attended the dinner hosted by Ariyawansa the year before.

He had also confirmed that Ambassador Kariyawasam accompanied him inside his vehicle to the dinner hosted by Ariyawansa.

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