President Maithripala Sirisena is being accused of violating the recruitment process for high-profile state assignments when he appointed former provincial governors Reginald Cooray and Niluka Ekanayake as heads of two state institutions this week.
Cooray has been appointed the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewelry Corporation while Ekanayake has been appointed the Chairperson of the State Timber Corporation. The duo received these appointments after they were asked to step down from their positions of governor so that Sirisena could appoint two other loyalists to the positions.
Issuing a circular last week to Ministry Secretaries President Sirisena informed them of a committee to vet the resumes of individuals by Cabinet ministers to head state institutions. The President also instructed them to appoint the heads only after the recommendations of the committee, headed by Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne.
The President has also informed the committee that the heads of all state institutions should be university graduates with relevant professional qualifications and managerial experience.
However, both Cooray and Ekanayake do not meet the standard set by the President. They are not university graduates nor do they have any managerial experience. Cooray is a teacher by professional training while Ekanayake is an astrologer. (Excerpts from The Colombo Telegraph)