Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, controversial businessman A.S.P. Liyanage was seen welcoming Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Rohitha Rajapaksa, the two sons of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa – when they arrived in the country this morning.
The gesture is not in line with any diplomatic protocol as the Rajapaksa sons do not hold any positions in the government, at the moment. Liyanage was seen welcoming them and carrying their bags when the CH Rugby team arrived in Qatar for a match.
While Ambassador ASP Liyanage is seen carrying Rohitha Rajapaksa’s bag, Sri Lanka Embassy official and Minister for Rajitha Senaratna’s close associate Ruwan Dananasooriya is pictured pushing a trolley containing Yoshitha Rajapaksa’s bags.
The Ambassador drove them to Mercure Grande Hotel where they were staying. They were Chauffer driven Ambassador in front seat with two sons at the back.
Liyanage, a billionaire businessman, claims to be a close friend of the Rajapaksa family. After the former President fell out of power in January 2015, he even offered his Colombo house, the Peacock Mansion, to the Rajapaksa family.
Despite his questionable links with the Rajapaksa family, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar raising many an eyebrow.
Liyanage’s appointment recently came under fire in Parliament with some Parliamentarians calling him a “mad man” who was ruining Sri Lanka’s image overseas.
UNP Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana slammed Liyanage for getting involved in the operations of the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha, without discharging the duties of his diplomatic posting.