British Lords and MPs bid farewell to outgoing Deputy High Commissioner Amza
By Janaka Alahapperuma
Feb 9, 2012
Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka (APPG-SL) in the British Parliament Rt Hon the Lord Nesaby PC hosted a grand receiption to bid farewell to the outgoing Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Mr P.M.Amza on 06 February (last Monday) at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Room in Westminster Hall.

This is the first time a Sri Lankan diplomat has been hosted to a farewell at the Houses of Parliament. The audience included members of both the House of Lords and the Commons including Rt Hon The Lord Naseby, Chairman of the APPG-SL, Lord Hussain of Luton, Lord Dholakia, Lord King of Westbromwich, Lord Loomba, Lord Rogan and MPs Mr Stephen Hammond, Mr David Amess, Mr James Wharton, Mr Mike Gapes, Mr Andrew Rosindell, Mrs Heather Wheeler, Mr Nick De Boris, Mr Mark Pritchard, several senior London based diplomats, Foreign & Commonwealth officials and Commonwealth Secretariat officials were in attendance. A cross section of Sri Lankan expatriates were also invited to this grand occasion.

Lord Nesaby proposing a toast to the outgoing Deputy High Commissioner and praised Amza's untiring, continued efforts to promote the bilateral relatioship during his tenure in London at a very difficult and crucial time. He also paid a huge tribute to Mr Amza for his role in bringing together various sections of the Diaspora in the UK in contributing to Sri Lanka's ongoing reconciliation process.

The event was preceded by a number of farewell events by various Sri Lankan Associations for Mr Amza whose tenure in London comes to an end on the 15th of this month. He is scheduled to assume duties as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin, Germany.

The eminant carrier diplomat, Deputy High Commissioner Mr P.M.Amza who was appointed as the Acting High Commissioner in the UK for eight months from 01 January to 30 August 2012, was the Deputy Director (East Division) and Acting Director of East Asia and Pacific Region at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to this Mr Amza also served as Second and First Secretary in Cairo, Egypt and Singapore respectively in the early days of his carrier. Between May 2004- January 2005, Mr Amza was Deputy Chief of Protocol. In February 2005, he was appointed as Chief of Protocol. Where Mr Amza demostrated unparallel level of ability and consumate skills as a diplomat when he assumed duties as Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, South India in the run up to the conclusion of the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka. Before joining the diplomatic world Mr Amza was in the Sri Lanka Education Service as an Assistant Director from 1988 to 1996. His qualification includes BSC, MA Degrees and extensive training at the University of Virginia, USA, University of London and Ministry of External Affairs in India.

Mr Amza will be sorely missed in London and we wish him well when he assume duties in Germany. He is most sertainly a credit to the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Service and a rarity amongst Sri Lankans.

Pix by: Tissa Madawela