CMC to take up cadre issue with Finance Minister

Move to create SLAS Mafia feared

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Colombo Municipal Council yesterday said it would meet new Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to discuss the CMC Cadre Requirement proposed in 2013 but put on hold at the Finance Ministry level.

Member of the Council, Mahendra Silva, said that the Western Provincial Council had forwarded proposals to the Finance Ministry and the Salaries and Cadre Commission. It had been altered to the dismay of several CMC trade unions, he added. Among the conditions laid down was that the Commissioner had to be from the Sri Lanka Administrative Service.

The CMC had wanted the Commissioner’s post to be open to other services so that those with professional qualifications too could hold it, Silva said. "This post has been previously held by doctors, engineers and even assessors. We have to have someone conversant with the affairs of the Council.

Professionals should not be prevented from being promoted internally to that post. Blocking opportunities in that manner amounts to a violation of human rights. However, in this instance former Commissioner, Badrani Jayawardane overstepped her powers with assistance from a top official in the former government."

The MMC said that Jayawardane had been removed from the position by the Chief Secretary’s office following a complaint of Election Laws violation and several other charges against her. The burning of CMC files, illegal appointments and failure to carry out Council Decisions were amongst them.

De Silva said that Jayawardane was an SLAS officer while the one who was appointed as Acting Commissioner, V. K. Anura was also an SLAS officer who was the CMC’s Charity Commissioner. "We cannot let the SLAS create a mafia type situation in the Council", he said.

 Last year, CMC Chief Medical Officer Health Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam was tipped to be the Commissioner as the senior most Department head at the time. However, the move was blocked by a top official of the former government.

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