Focus/Spotlight

Sunny Side Up: Reshuffling heads

The Government in its pursuit to achieve economic prosperity by addressing immediate financial as well as administrative issues faced by key state institutions, has taken steps to make changes to the chairs of several institutions.

While there have been new appointments and changes made to several state institutions during the past few months, there have been several changes that have taken place and are tipped to take place in several other state institutions. Among the institutions that are to see the most recent changes are Litro Gas and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC). 

There have also been new heads appointed to the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). 

It is in this backdrop that news of a new chairman being appointed to Litro Gas started to make the rounds among political circles. 

Theshara to Litro 

It is learnt that former National Youth Council (NYC) Chairman Theshara Jayasinghe is tipped to be appointed as the new Chairman of Litro Gas. Meanwhile, Anil Koswatte, the outgoing Chairman, is tipped to receive another appointment in a state institution. 

It is also learnt that Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa has directed the Finance Ministry Secretary to inform the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) to appoint Jayasinghe to the Board of Directors of Litro Gas and as its chairman. Litro Gas is a subsidiary of the SLIC. 

Meanwhile, a nominee is yet to be named for the top post of the SLIC. 

It is learnt that former Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Jayantha Ketagoda, who resigned to make way for Minister Basil Rajapaksa to enter Parliament, was offered the top post at the SLIC, but that he had gracefully declined. 

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New HC to Australia? 

Incumbent Chairman of SLIC Jagath Wellawatte is tipped to resign from his post at the corporation in order to accept a diplomatic posting. 

Wellawatte, according to discussions within governing party circles, is likely to be appointed as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia. 

During the formation of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Wellawatte played a key role in assisting the party’s Founder Basil Rajapaksa in formulating the SLPP’s policies. 

However, a final decision on the matter is yet to be reached, according to governing party sources.

 New UDA Chief 

 Meanwhile, Major General (Retd.) Udaya Nanayakkara was, last Tuesday (13), appointed as the new UDA Chairman. 

The letter of appointment of the new UDA Chairman was handed over by State Minister for Urban Development Dr. Nalaka Godahewa. 

Maj. Gen. Nanyakkara earlier served as the Director General of the Urban Settlement Development Authority.

The outgoing head of the UDA, architect Harshan de Silva, has been given a promotion of sorts by being appointed as an Additional Secretary to the President’s Office. 

Although de Silva was known to be an ardent loyalist of the President, he has been slow in implementing certain government programmes. 

Ferdinando replaces Vijitha Herath 

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has also witnessed a change to its top post amidst the series of changes being carried out in state institutions in order to make them more productive and achieve the targets set out by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 

CEB Chairman Eng. Vijitha Herath was last week replaced by M.M.C. Ferdinando. 

Ferdinando served as the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure. Hence, Ferdinando is known to be well versed with power sector issues as well as methods to overcome the existing stalemate in getting the President’s power plan into action. 

Meanwhile, governing party sources said that outgoing CEB Chairman Herath was likely to be appointed to the top spot at the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).