Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sri Lanka: President's 23 coor. secretaries cost SLR 2.3 M a month

Kumarasiri Hettige( left), most powerful
Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had 23 coordinating secretaries. Each of the coordinating secretaries was paid Rs. 30,000 as monthly salary, 170 litres of petro [170X162], a transport allowance of Rs. 30,000 and a telephone allowance of Rs. 5,000 monthly, the minister said. Minister Gunawardena responding to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the total cost incurred by the coordinating secretaries for the past three years stood at Rs. 37,798,327.67.

Asked to tell the House the sectors for which those coordinating secretaries had been appointed, the minister said they were external affairs, establishment and administrative coordination, economic, political and trade union services, educational, social and ethnic affairs, arts and cultural affairs, religious affairs, legal and defence.

External affairs field was coordinated by Sajin de Wass Gunawardena, Administrative and establishment sector by Daya Gallage and Kumarasiri Hettige, Economic, political and trade union field by Wadiwel Suresh, Suitha Wijesinghe, Kithsiri Ganganath Abeygunawardena, Kithsiri Sepala and Athula Wijesinghe, Education, Social and Ethnic Affairs field by Mohomed Fersan Mansoor, Wasantha Gunasekera, Dhammika Withanage, WMNB Galteitya, WP Gamini Wijesinghe, Arts and Cultural Affairs field by Neil Weeratunga, Rohana Weliwita, Wanshanatha Wiejsinghe and Akshin Punchihewa, Religious Affairs Field by Ven. Watinapaha Somananda Thero, Ven. Getamanne Gunananda Thero, Vernon P Samarakoon and AM Rathanayake while Legal and Defence Affairs field by Sampath S Tennakoon and K. P. P. Pathirana.

Asked to reveal to the House separately the educational qualifications possessed by each of these coordinating secretaries, the Minister said that those posts were held by persons having educational qualifications ranging from GCE Ordinary Level to university degree level and also they were conversant with issues in their fields.
By Saman Indrajith