PSC denies being flogged by political appointments

13 January 2020 05:19 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The six-member presidential select committee (PSC), appointed to nominate Chairmen and directors to state institutions, yesterday denied it was supporting nepotism or favouring certain candidates among the 11,000 estimated applications it had received to date.

Committee member, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told Daily Mirror that the committee had made recommendations to the posts of Chairmans and directors based on the credentials of the applicants and the experience they possessed.

Godahewa denied allegations that the committee was pressurized to nominate certain individuals with political connections and said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had warned against any such political appointments. "All the recommendations the committee has made to date, is based on the applicants' qualifications.

We have to date, nominated lawyers, doctors, engineers, professors, industry experts to the posts of Chairmans and board of directors, only because they qualify for it. Neither has the President, Prime Minister or Ministers interfered with our recommendations," Godahewa said.

The appointment of Lanka Sportreizen Chairman, Thilak Weerasinghe, in the board of directors of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd, has received flak in recent days with allegations that his appointment was political due to his link with the Mahinda Rajapaksa family.

However, Godahewa said that Weerasinghe followed the normal procedure of making an application to be on the board of directors of airport and aviation and was nominated due to his experience in the industry.

"Weerasinghe is a leading expert in the tourism industry and his nomination was made based on his qualifications. The committee has never considered any political appointment," Godahewa said. When contacted by Daily Mirror, Weerasinghe said he followed due process to apply for the position and was accepted due to his experience in the tourism and aviation trade.

The recipient of local and international awards, he said he had vast knowledge in the aviation industry as his company had been handling seaplanes, emergency flights, charter flights, etc for several years and he had also initiated several national tourism and sports events in Sri Lanka including the Colombo Marathon, which brought in a large number of tourists. Weerasinghe further said he served on a special task force for tourism under former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well.

"My appointment was based on my experience and qualifications and not due to my link with the present Prime Minister. Currently, we have a cross-section of experts on the board of directors of airport and aviation which include a lawyer, a jet fueling expert and a communication developer. Rumours of my appointment being political are false," Weerasinghe said. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

  Comments - 18

  • Andrew Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 09:05 AM

    Sri Lanka going to the shit bucket.

    Kamini Monday, 13 January 2020 09:10 AM

    What els can he say to save his skin .

    Gamaya Monday, 13 January 2020 10:13 AM

    Appointments seem to have been cherry picked. How can four members go through 11,000 applications at such a short time. President did not influence. The committee did a shoddy job.

    Duleep Kanage Monday, 13 January 2020 10:19 AM

    Let the selection committee tells us how Director General ,Telecommunications Regulatory commission was appointed even before selection committee was nominated

    Ryan Monday, 13 January 2020 10:25 AM

    Yes men

    Ajith de Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 10:27 AM

    Mr Godahewa do not try to fool the people. You are generally accepted as a honorable man but now it seems you too has become another third grade politician. Handling sea planes charter flights and emergency landings and other related activities are done by highly trained staff of Sri lankan Airlines and not sportsrisen men. Do not dance to the tune of politicians and maintain your integrity.

    Be Fair Monday, 13 January 2020 02:09 PM

    "Generally accepted as a Honorable Man" either you don't know the man Dr. Godahewa or you don't know what Honorable means

    Ajith De Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 01:18 PM

    I am wondering how a lawyer could manage the biggest state bank. Shouldn't it go to a banker? Even more confused to find that a law qualification teaches 3-phase power generation. I think being an Engineer you would know better than me whats best for LECO. So Ms Livera is an asset to AASL I guess...

    nadara Monday, 13 January 2020 01:30 PM

    People watching,election is just around the corner,if anything against promise to them,you will loose thousands of votes

    Sam Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 02:11 PM

    Dr Godahewa- What about the other two relations/ friends appointed to the Airport Aviation Company. Pls highlight their credentials as well!!

    Shevan Peiris Monday, 13 January 2020 03:08 PM

    it would have been better if Mr.Godahewa did not try to defend their actions.It only helped to confirm the obvious .Not all of us are that gullible

    Masahir Ahmed Monday, 13 January 2020 03:59 PM

    So if someone qualifies for the post then what is the big fuss about their political links. Should they be disqualified for that every one is linked or leaned towards one party or the other. If we remove politically connected candidates then we will have to source these people from foreign countries and pay them 15 times more.

    Viggy Kankesan Monday, 13 January 2020 04:03 PM

    Could this PSC issues a press statement illustrating the eligibility criteria followed like age, academic qualifications, professional experience etc without rubbish explanations by PSC

    Happy de Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 04:07 PM

    11,000 applications checked, screened and eligible candidates shortlisted within 10 days and submitted to HE. What a great PSC

    Happy de Silva Monday, 13 January 2020 04:08 PM

    11,000 applications checked, screened and eligible candidates shortlisted within 10 days and submitted to HE. What a great PSC

    Mala Monday, 13 January 2020 04:09 PM

    What about Bank of Ceylon an LECO were they give to suitable people? Even the people who were put there would work better in a place more relevant to them.

    Leon Wijetunga Monday, 13 January 2020 04:18 PM

    Members of the Board of Directors (including the Chairman) shall be appointed by the PSC from among persons appearing to PSC to be qualified for the relevant Institutions. when viewed collectively, be persons who possess proven academic qualifications, expertise and experience in the relevant field and /or one or more of the following fields- (i) law; (ii) economics, finance and business; (iii) engineering; (iv) public administration; and (v) competition and consumer affairs.

    Krisna kandhaiya Saturday, 18 January 2020 01:35 PM

    What type of transparency would be adhered for this? Will there be justification for the selection and would the government publish the list of candidates selected by PSC for the positions? What has happened to Technical proposals submitted by candidates. How would they really screen all those applications? All rubbish propoganda


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