Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena today denied having any hand in the appointment of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission's former director general Anusha Palpita as an additional secretary to his ministry.
He said Mr. Palpita was appointed by the Public Services Commission (PSC) and was transferred by the Public Administration and Management Ministry to the Home Affairs Ministry during the recent floods.
“This particular officer was attached to the Public Administration Ministry's officials pool when the new government assumed office in January 8 last year. During the recent rains that ravaged the country, several officials of our ministry were also sent on relief duty and contributed immensely to the relief operations. When we requested for officials from the Public Administration Ministry, they sent officials from its pool and Mr. Palpita was one of them,” the minister told a news conference held at the ministry.
The minister categorically denied reports that Mr. Palpita was one of his friends and that he was attempting to defend by transferring Mr. Palpita to the Home Affairs Ministry. “I have never met him nor had spoken to him,” he said.
When asked about the charges levelled against Mr. Palpita in the ‘Sil Redi’ fraud, the minister said the PSC may not have been informed about the charges.
Anusha Palpita and former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga were named as accused in the ‘Sil Redi’ case where the TRC was alleged to have spent Rs.600 million to distribute 'Sil Redi' to the people as part of the former presidents election propaganda campaign. (Lahiru Pothmulla)