Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority gets new chief

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority said Ranjith Fernando, a senior retired banker had taken office as chairman and Nayana Nadeesha Mawilmada will be the new Director General.

Mawilmada has been educated at Harvard and MIT in the US and has international experience in planning and managing large real estate and instructure projects.

The earlier office bearers had resigned following the change in regimes.

Analysts say Sri Lanka’s state agencies should have career Director Generals who are Chief Executive Officers and they should not be political appointees.

Sri Lanka’s public service started to break down after the Cabinet of Minister and then the President started appointing ‘impermanent’ secretaries to ministers who were permanent under earlier constitutions and during British rule.

The institution of permanent secretaries is borrowed by the British from the Mandarin system of China and is still used in the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and a host of other countries to deliver justice and equal treatment to all citizens.

Sri Lanka is planning to set up a constitutional council to appoint senior public officials – an institution that was scrapped by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa – which some hope will deliver the same results as permanent secretaries.

Permanent secretaries could not be sacked and they also served as a bulwark between an arbitrary elected ruling class and other levels of the public service so that they could do the right thing by the people.

Without an institutionalized process to make public announcement, any appointment made by any regime, however properly qualified could be viewed as a political appointment and reversed.

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