(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has defended the decision to allow his son to attend meetings at the UN as part of the Sri Lanka delegation.
Issuing a statement, the Foreign Minister said that in addition to his responsibilities in assisting President Ranil Wickremesinghe with his high-level engagements, as the Foreign Minister he also maintains a demanding schedule during his visits to the UNGA and Washington D.C.
This itinerary comprises delivering ten interventions and speeches, engaging in three public events, and participating in numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings, he said.
The Foreign Minister said that the extensive workload necessitates thorough research, writing, and meticulous preparations.
“To support Ministers in fulfilling their respective duties, each of us benefits from a Minister's bureau, comprising both paid and voluntary contributors. He has assisted me as a research assistant and a draft writer on an ad hoc, voluntary basis at my request for a period of time,” the Foreign Minister added.
The Foreign Minister said that during the UNGA, as he currently pursues his studies in the United States, his son volunteered to join to contribute his time and expertise for a few days.
“I am pleased to acknowledge that his contributions assisted me in preparing me for these crucial engagements. Importantly, neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Government of Sri Lanka has expended a single rupee on his behalf, either for his involvement in these engagements or at any other time. His contribution has been entirely voluntary, entailing zero cost to the taxpayer,” the Foreign Minister said.
The Foreign Minister said that he firmly believes that the public has every right to seek accountability from their representatives, and he is committed to providing the facts for an informed judgment. (Colombo Gazette)
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