Only a professional to head Sri Lanka Ports Authority, new minister says

ECONOMYNEXT – The new Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe has said only a professional will be appointed as chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), which operates the island’s ports and provides navigation services.

No political influence will be entertained in appointing the new chairman of the SLPA, a Ministry of Ports and Shipping statement quoted Samarasinghe as saying at a meeting with port labour unions soon after he took over his new job.

Only “a professionally qualified personage with updated knowledge on the maritime sector will be appointed as chairman of the institution,” he said.

Samarasinghe took over as Ports and Shipping Minister in a recent Cabinet reshuffle.

He replaced Arjuna Ranatunga, a former Sri Lankan cricket captain, who had appointed his brother, former cricketer Dammika Ranatunga, as chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Ranatunga’s move dismayed good governance activists and supporters of the new coalition government formed after the 2015 presidential poll, which had pledged to end the nepotism that had tarnished the former Rajapaksa regime.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had pledged that top posts in key government organisations would be filled on a “scientific basis” by an independent committee headed by them.
(COLOMBO, May 24, 2017)