Arjuna Ranatunga

Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga stated if his brother had enough qualifications to be Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), then family connections should not be a barrier to him being appointed to the post. Ranatunga was speaking in response to a query raised by The Nation on reports that his elder brother Dammika was on the list of names that he had submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the appointment.

Ranatunga said he was not concerned over reports appearing in some websites charging that the minister was trying to continue the practice of nepotism that was so synonymous with the previous regime. “A final decision (on the appointment) will be made by a committee which includes the President. However, if he (Dammika) has the necessary qualifications, then why not?” Ranatunga asked.

When queried if he thought his brother was the best qualified person to be head of the SLPA, Ranatunga replied that would be determined by the committee tasked with making the appointments.

President Sirisena last month announced that heads of all government institutions will be appointed by a special committee that would include both him and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. While ministers can nominate candidates, the final decision would be made by this committee.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated October 6 sent to the Prime Minister, the Joint Trade Union Forum of the SLPA has urged the President and Prime Minister to appoint Dammika Ranatunga as the new SLPA Chairman.

  • R J Dasa

    This guy was critical of Rajapakse Family and is there another word other than Nepotism OR a Hipocrit?

  • Percy Amarasinghe

    Mr. Prime Minister, Please keep a count of new jobs created under ONE Million JOBs programme. President has created 1, Ravi 2 and probably 1 by Arjuna if the so called Committee approves the said nomination. Piyal

  • Jayasingha

    There was a controversy re: the appointment of President’s brother as chairman SLT. Arjuna please don’t precipitate some more controversies but keep to yahapalanaya principles. It is family connections of the previous regime appointments that was criticized by you all. Even if your brother is on par with all other nominees for the post on all criteria the deciding factor should not be your relationship. Another person may have some thing more if you care to look a bit closer. We can remember how you got your other brother Sanjeewa to Australia to join the SL team when you were the captain. I am sure you can definitely find a person much better than your brother for this post. Sri Lanka is not so hard up to find good people to head institutions. There are more than enough efficient people than your brother who may have helped indirectly this govt during the elections and criticized MR.

  • chris

    with all due respect to Arjuna, the position of Chairman of SLPA should go to a professional who understands the terminal business, future needs of global shipping lines, competing regional ports activities, needs of neighboring ports and the foresight to establish Sri Lanka as regional hub for shipping. It requires someone from the industry with years of experience to make that happen. Not sure what qualifications he has in this specialized industry that we do not know about. Same should apply to the aviation industry and other service oriented industries if SL is to take advantage of its strategic location. Hope the President and PM will make the right decisions

  • azad

    no excuses, there are professionals who qualify for the post of SLPA Chairman. Indeed this is a sector where a professional’s touch is required if the port of Colombo is to grow, I believe they want the port of Colombo to be a non-competitive port, hence the selection of an un-qualified person. We are back again to what was done by the earlier govt.

  • ravindran karunanayagam

    arjuna hora has lots of dirty deals going on