The government is planning to build a new official residence for Sri Lanka s High Commissioner at 35 Avenue Road, London.
`We are in the process of finalizing the project,` an authoritative government source told The Island.
The new building would come up at the same location where the now abandoned official residence of Sri Lanka s High Commissioner to the UK was, the official said.
Due to the dilapidated state of the residence, the former High Commissioner, with the approval of the Foreign Ministry and the Treasury, had rented a house at a monthly rent of 8,000 Sterling Pounds. According to the High Commission, the Ministry, with the concurrence of the Treasury, had increased the rent ceiling to 10,000 Sterling Pounds a month but it managed to find an appropriate house for a lesser amount. The High Commissioner had moved into the new residence last April.
The official expressed belief that construction could be completed by early next year.
The High Commission attributed the delay in renovating the official residence due to changes in key personnel in the line ministries and departments responsible for making substantive decisions and taking action.
The official admitted that the failure on the part of the Ministry to regularly monitor the condition of overseas property had caused problems. He said that there was an urgent need to review the entire operation and explore ways and means to purchase suitable property overseas. According to him, the Foreign Ministry paid a monthly rent of Singapore $20,000 (approximately USD 12,000) for a building rented in Singapore. Sri Lanka owned land in South Africa, but action hadn t been taken to put up a building.