Sri Lankan Ambassador sends a Sri Lankan to Jail in Oman.

From time immemorial ambassadors were those who protected and safeguarded the interests of citizens living in a foreign country. Ironically, tragically and shamefully, the ambassador for Sri Lanka in Oman, Mr. I Ansar has got a Sri Lankan, Mr.K Kamalanadan in police custody and imprisoned him .
The offence' : stating at a General Parents' Meeting of the Sri Lankan School in Oman presided by Mr. Ansar, that he as the patron is acting contrary to the school's constitution.

Mr. Ansar had taken such exception to this factual statement that he had complained to the Omani authorities that Mr. Kamalanadan is a 'threat to his life'. Responding to this very serious allegation made by no lesser person than an ambassador of a state, the Omani police arrested Mr. Kamalanadan and held in prison.

It is said that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had come to know about the incident only after some Sri Lankans in Oman had informed the Ministry about it. Henceforth the ambassador had been ordered by the Ministry to get Mr. Kamalanadan released immediately.

It is unbelievable that the person who represents Her Excellency the President of Sri Lanka construes a legitimate statement made by a parent at a parents' meeting, as a 'threat to life'. By doing so, Mr. Ansar has created a very dangerous precedent.

That is,if a Sri Lankan in Oman expresses a view not in line with the ambassador's, he or she could be sent to jail! Furthermore, what would the Omani government make out of this. ? Would not they doubt the bona fides of Sri Lankan ambassadors sent to Oman.

They are quite reasonable to think so since Mr. Ansar himself is supposed to have got his complaint withdrawn from the police in order to get Mr. Kamalanadan released. If Mr. Ansar was certain about his allegation agaisnst Mr. Kamalanadan he should not have got it withdrawn.

On the contrary, if he was not certain, why did he charge him with such a serious offence and got him imprisoned. Since Mr.Kamalanadan has no charge against him, is not Mr. Ansar, stripped of his diplomatic immunity, liable to be prosecuted for false imprisonment ?

It is very unfortunate that this type of an incident should happen especially in view of the volatile situation in our country and at a time the government is trying its best to find a peaceful solution to end the civil war. It is more so serious when it happens through an agent of the government itself- the Sri Lankan ambassador and the victim is from the Tamil community.

It is a frequently heard complaint that innocent Tamils are taken into custody as suspected terrorists. Hence it is sad to think that this very incident might be used by politically motivated individuals to embarrass the government. It is therefore very important that the government must think twice before deciding to send an individual as a diplomat to a foreign country.

The government must be careful in particular not to send people of Mr. Ansar's type who choose to act carte blanche.

It is also important to mention that Mr. Ansar has made a rift in the Sri Lankan community in Oman which, prior to his arrival as the ambassador, was a closely united entity irrespective of different ethnic groups. Recently he has acted in a manner not only to widen this rift but also to create in the minds of the Omani people that Sri Lankans are misusing the religious tolerance afforded to expatriates in Oman.

He did this by getting down to Oman not less than 8 Buddhist monks to preach bana on the occasion of Wesak, when a group of Sri Lankan independent of the embassy got down only one.All these years the Sri Lankan embassy has been inviting one or two Buddhist monks which is more than sufficient for the purpose, as there is only one Viharaya in Oman. Mr. Ansar invited so many at a cost of a few lakhs of public money.

This is seen by many as a subtle tactic adopted by him to impress our government and the Buddhists in Oman, particularly in order to clean his image which he himself got blemished by acting in a deplorable manner as the patron of the Sri Lankan School in Oman even before the 'Kamalanadan affair'.

We Buddhists would be extremely happy to have as many monks as possible for not only for Wesak but also for all Poyas in Oman. Could we do this in an extremely strict Islamic country ? We should be extremely grateful to the government and people of Oman for allowing us to practise whatever religion we belong to.

However, if we misuse this kindness, we might even lose that privilege altogether. In addition to getting innocent Sri Lankan citizens imprisoned, Mr. Ansar as the Sri Lankan ambassador in Oman, will most probably also deprive Buddhists in Oman this privilege so kindly given to them by Omani people.

On behalf of the Sri Lankans in Oman


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