Sri Lanka to sack defiant ‘Hilton’ board
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government is set to sack the board of the state-acquired enterprise which owns the Colombo Hilton building after they defied calls to step down, official sources said.
The Cabinet of Ministers are expected to discuss the removal of the board headed by Sagarica Neelamani Kumari Delgoda who has refused to resign despite repeated calls by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
"The board insisted that they were appointed by the Secretary to the treasury and as such they could not be removed by anyone else," a government source said. "But since the previous government expropriated Hotel developers, the board comes under a Competent Authority."
The government sanction is sought to get the Competent Authority to sack the entire board and allow Minister Kabir Hashim to make new appointments.
The directors who are fighting to stay on had been named when Ravi Karunanayake had charge of the company. But under the new government following August parliamentary elections, the subject of the hotel went to Hashim.
It has also been brought to the notice of the cabinet that a "settlement" in respect of the long-standing Hilton dispute may be illegal and any monies paid to shareholder and former director Nihal Ameresekere may be illegal.
Ameresekere’s daughter Dheeshana Swarnarajini Ameresekere had been made a director of the Hotel Developers board by the new government despite the controversies surrounding them.