Colombo, Shuler, new US lobby firm, cozy alliance rumored

Colombo has inked a lobbying and government affairs contract with the US-based Majority Group, after the previous lobby firm, Patton Boggs, terminated its representation of Sri Lanka in early February, sources in Washington said. While the diplomatic performance of Jaliya Wickremasuriya, Sri Lanka’s President’s relative and the current Ambassador to Sri Lanka in Washington, has been lackluster, Wickremasuriya-mooted relationship with North Carolina Congressman, Heath Shuler, is rumored to have played a role in the selection of the lobby firm, even while the Congressman’s nexus to the Majority group has raised questions on "revolving door" ambitions of Shuler, political sources in Washington said.

Congressman Heath Shuler (D-11th District NC)The two-year old Majority Group was founded by Capitol Hill veteran Rob Ellsworth, former Congressman Walt Minnick (D-ID), former Congressman Charles Djou (R-HI), and Wall Street attorney Chris DiAngelo.

"We’re excited to work with Sri Lanka on a number of issues important to both of our countries. As a small boutique firm, we are able to give constant and individualized attention to our clients; I know that was very important to Sri Lanka," Ellsworth is reported to have said according to the Politico website.

The following facts on the Colombo, Shuler, and The Majority nexus are feeding the rumor mill in Washington, especially on Shuler if his Majority deal is "Bribery, or Legitimate Career Change?":

  • Sri Lanka Embassy funds Rep. Shulers trip to Vanni after the end of war.

  • Shuler provides much needed positive propaganda for Colombo complimenting Rajapakses of the transparency and the treatment of Tamils in internment camps.

  • Majority Co-founder Ellsworth served as a key Aide to Shuler

  • Revolving Door: Heath Shuler, who is about to quit Congress, is reportedly already talking to different lobbying firms, assessing his options. One of the organizations taking a serious look at Shuler is The Majority Group.

  • Colombo hires Ellsewood’s The Majority Groupto represent Sri Lanka in the US for lobbying activities.

Sri Lanka’s central bank recently inked a separate contract with Thompson Advisory Group to promote the country’s economic interests.

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