Labour MP hosts farewell to outgoing Lankan diplomat Featured

Labour MP hosts farewell to outgoing Lankan diplomat Dr. Chris Nonis presenting a special memento to Kularatne

A farewell reception was held at the Committee Room 9 in the British Houses of Parliament last week for Chaminda Kularatne, the outgoing Minister Counsellor (Consular & Immigration) of Sri Lanka in the UK. The reception was hosted by the Labour MP for East Ham Stephen Timms. 

Kularatne, an attorney by profession, was earlier working as Senior Assistant Secretary to the President Rajapaksa. He has completed three years and now reverting to his old job in Colombo. 

Kularatne was a popular figure who was loved and respected by people of all communities in the UK as he treated everybody equally.

While Stephen Timms MP hosted the event at the British Houses of Parliament, the reception was organised by Councillor Lakmini Shah of East Ham South Ward and Tourism Promotion Officer at the Sri Lanka Tourist Board in London Nalin Perera. 

Timms said that he heard all the good things about Kularatne and was happy to host the event on behalf of the Sri Lankan community of his constituency. 

High Commissioner, Dr. Chris Nonis said that Kularatne was a hard working person and he would like to personally thank him  for all the assistance given to him. 

Councillor Lakmini Shah said that she found this unassuming diplomat to be efficient and dutiful. "You are an officer who always found a solution to any issues raised by the community, especially with visas and dual citizenship inquires. You managed to leave a lasting legacy and leave sweet memories with the community and your work colleagues. I think, the incoming officer billed to replace you has a hard job in hand", she said. 

Tourism Promotion Officer Nalin Perera said Kularatne has the touched hearts of lots of people during his tenure here in London and he helped people from all communities in many ways. "He was not compelled to do it but he made it his mission".

Solicitor Anura Hegoda spoke on behalf of the Sinhala Community , Pradeep Kandappa on behalf of the Tamil community and Amjad Saleem on behalf of the Muslims.

President of the Consular Corps of London Mr. Bernard Silver said Kularatne was a valuable member of Consular Corps of London.
 He said that Mr. Kularatne never stopped smiling. He further said that although Mr. Kularatne was going back to the President's office he wish that Mr. Kularatne would never enter politics. Silver defining the word "Politics" said that "Poli" means "More" and "tics" means blood sucking parasites and therefore he did not want Mr. Kularatne to enter politics.
Kularatne thanked Stephen Timms MP for hosting the event at the British Parliament and for Councillor Lakmini Shah for organising it. He also thanked the incumbent High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis, former High Commissioner Justice Nihal Jayasinghe and former Acting High Commissioner P.M. Amza, in addition to the members of the Consular Corps of London.

"I am saying goodbye to a wonderful mixture of friends who represent different nationalities, ethnicities and different faiths. You all are part of my harvest which I have gathered during my London assignment".

On behalf of the Sri Lankan community in the UK, a special memento was presented to him by High Commissioner Nonis.

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

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