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Manel Abeysekera

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Nationality  Sri Lankan
Name  Manel Abeysekera
Children  Harindra Abeysekera
Spouse(s)  Hector Abeysekera
Occupation  Diplomat

Manel Abeysekera wwwsundaytimeslk000521pl8jpg
Born  1933
Known for  Sri Lankan Ambassador to Germany, Sri Lankan Ambassador to Thailand
Books  "Madame-Sir": Career and Dilemmas of the First Woman Diplomat in the Sri Lanka Foreign Service
Education  Methodist College, Colombo, Somerville College, Oxford

Manel Abeysekera is a Sri Lankan diplomat. Having served as Sri Lankan Ambassador in Germany and Thailand, she is known as Sri Lanka's first woman career diplomat.


Manel Abeysekera Ms Manel Abeysekera The first Sri Lankan Career Lady Dip Flickr


She was born to E. W. Kannangara, a prominent civil servant who had served as the Clerk of the State Council. Educated at Methodist College, Colombo, she read history at Somerville College, Oxford. After joining the Overseas Service she studied modern languages at New Hall, Cambridge.

Diplomatic career

After graduating from Oxford in 1957, she returned to Ceylon and applied to the newly formed Ceylon Overseas Service through the Ceylon Civil Service, having become only female in the batch of eight selected candidates. Having been appointed to the service as the first female recruit, she became the first female diplomat in Sri Lanka.

Having completed her modern languages training at Cambridge, she was made permanent in her appointment and took up the post of Third Secretary at the Ceylon's High Commission in London. Thereafter she was posted to Thailand as Charge d’ Affaires from 1970-1974. Returning to Sri Lanka in 1974 she took up the post of Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence, where she played a major role in organizing the Non-Aligned Summit in 1976. During her tuner she wrote the Foreign Ministry Manual of Protocol Procedure. She then went on to serve as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Thailand, there after Director General - Press and Publicity Division of the Foreign Ministry and finally became Sri Lankan Ambassador to Germany, having accreditation to Austria and Switzerland. She retired from the Foreign Service in 1993.

At present, she works as a Consultant (Foreign Service Training), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is based at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies and is also as a Consultant on Gender and Development


She married Hector Abeysekera a UN diplomat. They had one son, Harindra.


Manel Abeysekera Wikipedia

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