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New Indian High Commissioner YK Sinha begins his mission in SL

(Lanka-e-News-03.July.2013, 4.00PM) The High Commissioner of India, H.E. Mr. Y. K. Sinha, presented his credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at 10.45 a.m. today at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat. Mr. Y.K. Sinha is a seasoned diplomat and during his career of 32 years, has handled several important assignments in Indian diplomatic missions and at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. Before coming to Sri Lanka, he was Additional Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. He has also served as Ambassador of India to Venezuela, Consul General of India in Dubai and held key positions in Indian missions in New York, Islamabad, Rome, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

A posting in Sri Lanka has always been regarded as a prestigious assignment in India. Varahagiri Venkata Giri, the first Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka, went on to become the President of India, while former Punjab Chief Minister the late Bhimsen Sachar too did a stint in Colombo. Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhis grandson Gopalakrishna Gandhi too served as Indias top diplomat in Colombo. At least four career diplomats who served as high commissioners to Sri Lanka went on to become Indias Foreign Secretaries. They are: YV Gundevia, Jyotindra Nath Dixit, Shiv Shanker Menon and Nirupama Rao. The fifth is present Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who too had worked in the mission in Colombo as a junior officer. Ashok K Kantha completed his term in Colombo last Thursday, flew back home and assumed his new assignment here as Secretary (East) on Friday morning. Lakhan Lal Mehrotra

too returned from Colombo in 1990 to serve at the headquarters in the same capacity. Presently Additional Secretary in the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division at the headquarters, the gentle and soft-spoken Sinha can be tough when required. He arrives in Colombo armed with 32 years of experience. He has handled several major assignments at the headquarters here and has worked in Indian diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Europe, South America and the Indian Permanent Mission at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Son of the highly regarded Gen SK Sinha (retired), he was born on October 4, 1958 in Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. He joined the prestigious Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1981 after obtaining a Masters degree in History from Delhi University. Soon after completing his training, he served in the Secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, held in New Delhi in 1983. In June 1983, he was assigned to the Indian Embassy in Cairo (Egypt) as Third Secretary. He obtained an advanced diploma in Arabic from the American University, Cairo. Subsequently, he was posted as Second Secretary and later First Secretary in the Indian Embassy in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), where he looked after political and information work and also served as Head of Chancery. In 1989, he took up his assignment as First Secretary (Commercial & Economic) in the Indian Embassy in Rome (Italy). He also officiated as Consul General in Milan for a few months during his posting in Italy. He returned to New Delhi in 1992 and (Pakistan) and Director - SAARC Summit transferred to the Indian High Commission he headed the Political served as Deputy Secretary Secretariat. In 1995, he was in Islamabad (Pakistan) where Wing as Counsellor.

From September 1998 to March 2002, he was Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations at New York, where he handled important issues like Peace-Keeping, UN Security Council Reforms, Palestine, Decolonisation, Information etc. He was also Indias representative to the Fourth (Special Political and Decolonisation) Committee of the UN General Assembly. Sinha served as Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi (UAE) from March 2002 till July 2003 and then as Consul General of India in Dubai (UAE) from August 2003 till December

2006. He was appointed as Ambassador of India to Venezuela and served in that capacity from January 2007 till August 2009. On his return to India, he was appointed Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. He was promoted to the rank of Additional Secretary with effect from October 1, 2012. He is married to Girija, and has two sons: Ambuj and Vinayak BY S VENKAT NARAYAN