How a foreign diplomat with powerful friends at home, cheated his own country

July 26, 2022 at 12:19 PM

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya has faced the American judicial system for stealing from his own treasury back home, Politico reported. 

The Justice Department’s case against the envoy might just represent a cautionary precedent for future would-be diplomatic chiselers.

The case of former Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who pleaded guilty to defrauding his own government out of $332,000, has gotten significant play in his crisis-stricken home country, where anti-corruption protests this month ousted the president. 

One of the major complaints against the now-former leader (and his brother, another former president; and their brother, the just-ousted finance minister; and their other brother, a former speaker of parliament) was that they filled the government with crooked relatives.

Case in point: The ex-ambassador, a cousin.

In the Sri Lankan press, the fact that the scam had to be prosecuted by the U.S. government — rather than by the government the ambassador actually cheated — has become a sad part of the larger narrative about nepotism and corruption in the nearly two decades that members of the extended Rajapaksa family have dominated national politics.

To read further:  (NewsWire)