Lankan President asserts authority over administration
Posted on January 4th, 2019

Colombo, January 4 ( Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is yet to reconcile with his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has issued a series of instructions tightening his control over the country’s administration.

He told a meeting of Ministry Secretaries here on Friday that they must refer to a committee he has set up, names of people who are to be, or have been, appointed as Chairpersons or members of the Board of Directors of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

The Secretaries to the Ministries must act according to the circulars issued by the Secretary to the President when appointing Chairpersons and members to Boards of Directors of State enterprises including the statutory boards and public corporations,” the President said.

Lankan President asserts authority over administration

The circular numbered PS/PCMD/19/2018 signed by the Secretary to the President was issued on December 31, 2018. Furthermore, the President had taken steps to appoint a Committee to submit recommendations after inquiring into the qualifications of the individuals to be appointed as Chairpersons or members to Director Boards of State enterprises.

The Secretary to the President chairs the Committee to review appointments. Other members of the Committee are President’s Senior Advisor W.J.S. Karunaratne, two representatives appointed by the Prime Minister and a representative of the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.

The President also instructed the Secretaries of Ministries to forward the names of the currently appointed Chairpersons and members of the Board of Directors to this committee for examining their qualifications.

President Sirisena further stated that he will send written instructions in this regard to all ministers in the near future.

The President made these remarks during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (03) with the Ministry Secretaries.

The President also pointed out that irregularities are emerging due to the fact that regular reports on the use of the vehicles of the government are not regularly maintained. He has instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport to jointly schedule a program to get details and facts of the vehicles of the government in order to avoid misuse.

President Sirisena also instructed the officials to maintain the details of the vehicles belonging to the government in a manner that will enable the citizen to know about its use through the internet.

The President also instructed the Secretaries of Ministries to visit the departments and institutes under their ministry at least once in three months to meet the office staff and to find out the procedures and issues.

The President also highlighted the importance of taking action in all the Ministries to assist initiatives to prevent drug abuse and pointed out the importance of establishing a Drug Prevention Unit in each state institution, and fulfill their respective duties according to circulars issued in recent years.

The Gramashakthi People’s Movement was launched to free the people from poverty, and steps are being taken to implement it as a broad people’s movement in the future, the President said.

The dedication of all state officials, including secretaries of Ministries is essential in this endeavor,” the President stressed.

Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne and Ministry Secretaries were present on this occasion.

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