Ministry-less state institutions carry on

Three state-owned entities which have not been assigned to any ministry, namely Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lankan Airlines, and Waters Edge, are currently under the purview of either its former ministry or President Maithripala Sirisena.

These three institutions were not assigned to any ministry by the President in the gazette notification relating to the subject allocation to ministries last week.

SriLankan Airlines Chairman G.S. Vithanage said that currently the national carrier is dealing directly with the President.

“Right now, we are dealing with the President. The President decides the portfolio of the ministries. Decisions should be passed through the presidential secretariat until it is listed under a ministry.”

When asked, he refused to speculate on the reasons for the omission of SriLankan Airlines from the list of institutions allocated to ministries, saying that the President is best placed to answer that question.

However, Waters Edge Chairman Chamath De Silva said that the hotel is still dealing with its former ministry: Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development.

“According to my knowledge, Waters Edge should come under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. Waters Edge is a 100%-owned subsidiary of the Urban Development Authority (UDA). UDA comes under the Ministry of Megapolis. Therefore, Waters Edge indirectly comes under that ministry.”

On Tuesday, Minister of Urban Areas and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka was invited to the opening of 50k Orchids, the newest restaurant at Waters Edge.

All attempts made to contact Sri Lanka Telecom for a comment from SLT Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena, who is the brother of President Sirisena, were unsuccessful.