Will this Cabinet reshuffle be on a scientific basis? Lessons to learn from Premadasa
Posted on May 10th, 2018

Dr Sarath Obeysekeara

.”Another Cabinet reshuffle is the talking point these days. Health Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said on Sunday that there would be a Cabinet reshuffle before May 1 with the portfolios assigned in a scientific manner.   This is not the government’s first Cabinet reshuffle and also not the first time that Dr. Senaratne assured the country on behalf of the government that the portfolios would be assigned in a scientific manner. It was during the 2015 presidential election campaign that the leaders of the incumbent government promised to appoint a 30-member Cabinet on a scientific basis. 

When I read the news item above and later read about appointment of Ministers on a Scientific Basis. I was quite disappointed. Nevertheless President and PM had to take some action to safeguard the future of the Yahapalanaya Government, and stave away   the vultures waiting to topple the ‘Cart”

My contention is President and the Prime Minister shall now appoint chairmen to Corporations and statutory bodies using a Scientific Approach

I was appointed to  SLLRDC as the chairman in 1989 by Premadasa ,where I neither had any political affiliations  nor I was a stooge of the clan ..Another educated chairman of a corporation was requested find someone with exposure in International Industrial fields for the post and I was requested to meet him in his office .He asked my background (of course he would have known already) and asked me to read the act of SLLRC and take over .He gave be few months to develop new building in Rajagiriya.We were involved   in Gamudawa and other development project.

Most of the agencies like NHDA was run by a veteran Susil Siriwardane .Water Board by Me Nadugala .SEC my Eng. Mr. Silva  who were highly educated ,and handpicked my Premeds .If the Minister wanted someone in the Board  they were nominated as working directors etc. .Even the brother of Mrs Premadasa was never appointed as a chairman .Ministry of housing has Mr Conrad Tisera and Mt Alillaperuma with Dr Joachm and Gamunu Silva in SEC who were highly educated .

One day President calls me 4 am form Keselwatte and asked me to find a chairman for Timber Corporation claiming that the existing chairman purportedly was under his surveillance and not to his liking .Even up to date   I wm not sure why he asked me to find one with some good back ground .

This is how President appointed chairman to the board and refused to play to the tune of ministers .

We have a new chairman in Timber Coprporation today after the previous got the boot, but people raised eye brows when they found that that the appointment is under serious cloud of suitability.

It is high time that President appoints the new board of the statutory bodies  under the new ministers with educated experienced people rather that appointing stooges who can ruin the reputation of the Yahaplana Government

Dr Sarath Obeysekeara

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