Home minister skips Sri Lanka Honorary consulate inaugural

Sri Lanka flag  Home minister Ramesh Chennithala has decided not to attend the inaugural of the honorary consulate of Sri Lanka to be held here on Wednesday.

Chennithala has decided to play safe after coming to know that the honorary consul of Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram, Joemon Joseph Edathala, is currently out on station bail in a criminal case for beating up a 63-year-old man.

Chennitahala told TOI that he was invited to the function by Joemon Joseph but he won’t attend the event.

Speaking to TOI, chief minister Oommen Chandy said he was unaware of the criminal case listed against Joemon Joseph’s name. “I am hearing about this now. I had welcomed the setting up of the Sril Lankan consulate as that will help strengthen bilateral ties and accelerate tourism growth,” he said. Chandy said he would look into the allegations against Joemon.

“I understand he is on bail in a criminal case. The normal protocol is that the Kerala home department should have vetted this person, but that was before I became home minister so I cannot comment on what was done before my time. I was invited to the event, but I won’t attend it. I don’t know who he is and I am anyway planning to leave town by noon after the cabinet meeting,” said Ramesh Chennithala.

BJP state president V Muraleedharan, who was also invited to the event, said he too has decided to avoid the function.

Joemon Joseph, however, has gone all out to advertise the opening of the consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. The advertisement states that chief minister Oommen Chandy, home minister Ramesh Chennithala and Union MoS HRD and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor will attend the event at a city hotel at 3 pm on Wednesday. The CMO said the advertisement was placed on Joemon’s own accord and it has nothing to do with the state government.(Times of India)

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