Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has directed the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) to resign from their posts with effect from today, ministry sources said.
NMDRA Chairman Prof. Lal Jayakody and Deputy Chairman Prof. Krishantha Weerasooriya were appointed by the minister himself in the run-up to the parliamentary elections last year.
While these sources did not want to speculate on the reason for the minister’s sudden decision, they said t the minister had come under intense pressure from various parties.
However, NMDRA officials were said to be up in arms when they heard about who were going to asked appointed to replace the two Professors.
The new appointees, Dr.Athula Kahandaliyanage and Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe were reported to have worked for private companies and as such the NMDRA officials feared a conflict of interest.
The minister is reported to have claimed that he had directed the two professors to resign on the basis of shortcomings at the NMDRA.
However, the sources said the NMDRAhad not been provided with adequate funds and facilities to carry out their duties despite several requests made to the minister.
Against this background several NMDRA officials had vowed to resign from their posts to show their disappointment and displeasure at the minister’s decision.(Piyumi Fonseka)