Information on the type of security clearance required of a prospective employee of the Sri Lankan high commission in Kenya; and on the type of security clearance required of his wife and children [LKA18562.E]

The following information was obtained in 5 October 1994 and 6 October 1994 telephone interviews with the third secretary of the high commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Ottawa.

The Sri Lankan foreign service consists of three classes of employees: Class A employees are diplomatic officers; Class B employees are the technical and administrative staff; and Class C employees are the support staff, including drivers, security guards and others. Class A employees are rarely non-Sri Lankan, although there are a few exceptions. The source did not elaborate on this point. Initially the source stated that classes B and C employees do not have to be Sri Lankan nationals; however, in the follow-up interview, the source stated that only Class C employees do not have to be Sri Lankan nationals.

Whether the prospective employee is a Sri Lankan national and/or a government civil servant will determine the frequency of security clearance undertaken. The security clearance verifies whether the employee has a criminal record, and automatically extends to the employee's immediate family.

For Sri Lankan nationals, the security clearance of government employees of all three classes is undertaken at the time of recruitment or initial employment, and is carried out by the Sri Lankan police. On the basis of the police report, the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary in Colombo will decide whether or not to hire the prospective employee. The source stated that no additional security checks of Sri Lankan government employees are undertaken subsequent to the initial security clearance. However, should any information pertinent to security clearance become available, it will be placed in the employee's personal file. In the case of prospective employees from outside the government service, this security clearance is conducted prior to each posting.

The source stated that the results of the foreign service open competitive exam which recruits university graduates is sometimes published in Colombo's local daily papers. If any individual objects to the results, or is aware that one of the candidates is guilty of a criminal offense, he can send a petition to the Foreign Secretary in Colombo citing his objection. This petition is then examined by the Foreign Secretary and is verified through the police, thus becoming part of the security clearance. The Foreign Secretary considers both the petition and the police record in his decision whether or not to employ the candidate.

The source also stated that the Foreign Secretary publishes the appointments of high commissioners and foreign ambassadors in Colombo's daily papers. The advertisement also requests objections to these appointments. Those who do object to the postings of either a foreign ambassador or a high commissioner must prove their objection with supporting evidence. The source stated that no objection has yet been successful.

In Sri Lankan missions abroad, non-Sri Lankan nationals who are non-government employees undergo the same security clearance which is carried out by the Sri Lankan high commission's head of chancery (head of administration, head of office) in conjunction with the host country's local police. The ultimate decision of employment rests with the high commissioner based on the reports of the head of chancery and the local police.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, in Ottawa. 5 October 1994. Telephone interview with the third secretary.

. 6 October 1994. Telephone interview with the third secretary.