Dr Palitha Kohona, Secretary General of the Sri Lankan government's Peace Secretariat, has been appointed Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the retirement of HMGS Palihakkara.
Kohona told Hindustan Times on Friday that he would be in-charge of the Peace Secretariat also, for the time being.
Kohona is not a Foreign Serviceman. A Supreme Court lawyer with a doctorate from Cambridge, he was chief of the UN Treaty Section when he was invited by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to head the Peace Secretariat in April 2006 replacing Jayantha Dhanapala, who had become Sri Lanka's candidate for the post of UN Secretary General.
President Rajapaksa has confidence in the articulate and suave Kohona, especially because they think alike on the question of terrorism and the way the LTTE should be tackled.