Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has stayed any further action on a planned exchange of the official residence of Sri Lanka`s High Commissioner in Britain, and an investigation is pending on the suitability of the exchange, Mr. Samaraweera told The Sunday Times.
The Minister said he had been unaware of what happened over this transaction, and that he would be personally looking into the matter to see if any irregularities had taken place.
The Sunday Times last week exclusively reported a bid to have the Sri Lankan High Commissioner`s residence exchanged for a smaller property down the same road at The Avenue, St. John`s Wood, London even after a team of Sri Lankan officials, including technical personnel had advised the then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar against the exchange.
The late Mr. Kadirgamar had acceded to the recommendations of this team and requested the Ministry to pass funds to repair the bungalow instead.
However, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her brother, then Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike, had later sent another team of government officials, with no expertise in real estate matters, and approved the exchange.