Scientists rebel against reappointing  of RRI Chairman

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The Scientific Staff Officers Association (SSOA) of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka has protested against the re-appointing of its former Chairman under the new government.

President of the SSOA, Dr. U. N. Ratnayake told The Island that former Chairman J. Y. Peries had worked at the RRI from Dec. 2005 to Jan. 2015, but achieved nothing in one of the premier scientific bodies in the country.

"We heard that Mr. Peries is going to be reappointed as the chairman and our union is against the appointment," the SSOA said in a letter to the Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation A. M. Jayawickrema yesterday.

Peries was not fit to guide scientists and he had no vision to develop the research and development culture of the institute to achieve the government goals, Dr. Ratnayake said adding that hence the SSOA requested the Ministry Secretary to study the pathetic situation that prevailed at RRISL during the ten years former Chairman headed the body. They have appealed to the Ministry Secretary to consider appointing a qualified professional/administrator capable of driving the institute for the betterment of the rubber industry.

The Association has also accused the former Chairman of misconduct. "We are ready to provide the evidence of those instances of misconduct and inappropriate appointments carried out by the ex-Chairman," Dr. Ratnayake said.

He said they had wanted to prevent corruption, indiscipline, illegal and unethical recruitments, illegal interviews to fill the vacancies in the posts of deputy director research (biology) and deputy director Research (technology).

"As a scientific union we believe the new government that came to power promising good governance and transparency will not make such an appointment," Dr. Ratnayake said.

The SSOA has sent copies of their letter to Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Plantation Lakshman Kiriella.

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