Udayanga to be branded ‘fugitive’
Whereabouts unknown; SL team to visit Kiev mid week;
Interpol assistance sought for his arrest:
Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to the Ukraine, Udayanga Weeratunga, is
to be declared a fugitive shortly as his whereabouts remain unknown. Two
countries, Sri Lanka and Ukraine, are trailing him for alleged arms
deals and threatening national security by collaborating with rebel
Mid week, a senior Foreign Ministry official, accompanied by a small
police team is scheduled to visit Ukraine to hold discussions with
Ukraine’s Public Prosecutor and others to study the possibility of
apprehending Weeratunga, who has remained at large since the Mahinda
Rajapaksa Government was defeated on January 9.
Assistance has already been sought from the International Police
(Interpol) to ascertain the whereabouts of the fugitive former envoy, in
a bid to commence a legal process against him.
Weeratunga is also wanted by the Ukrainian authorities for alleged
collaborations with a pro-Russia rebel group operating in Ukraine and
the supply of arms. The Ukrainian Government has made two complaints
against the island’s former envoy, who has allegedly procured weapons on
behalf of a Ukrainian separatist group.
His services were terminated by Colombo, upon receiving two
complaints by the Ukrainian Government subsequent to which, the former
Ambassador also went missing, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ajith B.
Weeratunga’s name was strongly linked to the controversial MiG 27
fighter aircraft deal in 2006, sealed through a highly questionable
process without calling for tenders and in volition of Air Force
procurement procedures, by working through a dubious London-based
company named, Bellimissa Holdings.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has received packages belonging to
Weeratunga, without indicating any person having his power of attorney.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the Colombo- based media
last week the Ministry has not released the packages, in the absence of
an appointed authority. “He (Weeratunga) has appeared in Tehran out of
all places with a request to have Colombo release his luggage,”
“The fact that he (Weeratunga) has gone missing and cannot be traced
in any manner alone indicates that he is acting in bad faith. Former
envoys who were political appointees have been recalled. After two
complaints were received by the Sri Lanka Government, Sri Lanka wanted
him to return, but there is no trace of him a sign of serious guilt,”
Minister Perera added.