Debate flares up in Parliament about coordinating secretary appointments

Debate flares up in Parliament about coordinating secretary appointments

Written by Bella Dalima

23 Jul, 2014 | 7:04 pm

It was revealed on July 23 in Parliament that 23 persons had been appointed coordinating secretaries to the president and a sum of over Rs. 37 million had been spent over the past three years for their salaries and other benefits. 

Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

A total of 37 million 798,372 rupees and 67 cents has been spend on these secretaries over the past three years. The persons who are holding such posts are those who have qualification ranging from the Ordinary Level to degree level and posses an expertise on social, economical, political, cultural and other fields of interest.”

JVP Leader, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake:

In section number 4, I question the names and individual qualifications of these persons. Honorable Minister, you said that they possess qualification from the G.C.E Ordinary Level to a degree level. Do they all posses such qualifications?”

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

What I am saying is that, all of them have these qualifications …”

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake:

This a bulk of information. One person can only posses the O/L qualification while another can be a degree holder. As a whole, you are saying that they are degree holders. I am asking for their individual qualifications.”

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

They are all appointed as coordinating secretaries by the President, Honorable Speaker.”

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake :

Why are you reluctant to reveal their educational and other qualifications. It is doubtful whether they do posses the required qualifications. Have they passed the 8th Grade? Have they passed the G.C.E Ordinary Level examination? When you are saying such things, it can be assumed that you do not have a clear picture about this. Some might have even only studied up to Grade 2.”

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

When you say O/L, it means G.C.E O/L and above.”

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake:

Methsiri Silva was the former mayor of Galle who was removed from his position over monetary malpractices. I have a letter that he sent to me, while he served as a coordinating secretary to the president. However, his name is not in the list of names that was read by you. I wish to know if persons who were not appointed by the president are operating in such positions.”

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

Please forward it as a separate question. You have not asked about Methsiri Silva here.”

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake: 

There is an MP by the of Sajin Vass Gunawardena. He was appointed as a coordinating secretary to the president. Athula Wijesinghe was is the former Chief Minister of North Western Province. His position was stolen by Dayasiri. So, this Athula Wijesinghe has also been appointed as a coordinating Secretary to the President. I wish to ask, if Parliamentarians and other persons who held the Chief Ministerial portfolios can be appointed as coordinating secretaries to the President?”

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: 

Yes, they can be appointed, Honorable Speaker.”

 


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