quashes CB deputy governor's appointment
Improper procedure for promotions adopted
By Naomi Gunasekara
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been ordered to adhere to a proper
procedure in selecting its officers for high-ranking posts following
a landmark judgement quashing the appointment of W. A. Wijewardena
as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank after a former officer said
he was bypassed for the job although he was more senior.
given on April 30, directed the Monetary Board of the Central Bank
consisting at the Governor, Secretary to the Finance Ministry and
a member appointed by the President, to hold a fresh selection process
for the said post after giving publicity to the criteria and procedure
Fernando, hearing two fundamental rights applications filed by retired
executive director of the bank, Somapala Pattiwidana, alleging that
his fundamental rights under Article 12 (1) of the Constitution
was infringed by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank (first respondent)
and the Central Bank Governor (second respondent), by the appointment
of W. A. Wijewardena (third respondent) as Deputy Governor, held
that the criteria for selection of the third respondent was uncertain,
confusing, anomalous and inconsistent and the second and first respondents'
failure to evaluate the candidates by failing to comply with the
prescribed procedure, the appointment of Wijewardena as DG was arbitrary
and unreasonable and that the right of the petitioner to a fair
selection process has been infringed.
Fernando, analysing the scheme of the Central Bank, pointed out
that the Deputy Governor (DG) had been appointed from among the
officers in the Special Grade according to the affidavit of the
second respondent, who admitted that at all times the bank has had
at least one Deputy Governor qualified in economic policy or major
operational functions of the bank.
not unreasonable for the Monetary Board to insist upon having one
DG with expertise and experience in those fields more so because
Sections 8 (1) and 24 of the Act provide that, in the absence of
the governor one DG shall preside at meetings of the Board,"
the judgement stated.
one of the DGs retired, since the other did not have experience
and expertise in the fields of economics and monetary policy, had
the past practice been followed the vacancy should have been filled
from the Special Grade, which had three officers. Contrary to practice,
however, the second respondent has created a few positions of Assistants
to the Governor (AG) on par with the Special Grade to assist him
in specialised areas of the bank's functions and thereby appointed
the third respondent, who was a Grade IV officer, as an Assistant
to the Governor.
The Board Paper
of 4.5.2000 unequivocally stated that the post of AG could only
be held by officers having experience, skills and aptitude in particular
specialised areas in the Special Grade. That was not an unreasonable
requirement, but it made every Grade IV officer ineligible. However,
items (3) (b) and (4) (a) made an inconsistent provision, which
seemed to make Grade IV officers eligible with only five years service.
Allowing such an exception would be manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable
and would result in unequals being treated equally. The appointment
of the third respondent was therefore flawed."
Wijewardena as an AG on a direction made by the Governor, the Monetary
Board had unlawfully delegated its statutory power of appointment
to the Governor. Consequent to Wijewardena's promotion along with
12 others, the Governor, in a Board Paper dated 2.6.2000 had stated
that AGs or Executive Directors in the Special Grade will also be
considered for the post of DG hereafter and thereby expanded the
number of candidates who would be eligible for the post of DG.
this direction, however, the Governor has directed the Board to
consider five out of the 12 officers in the Special Grade for consideration
for the post of DG. Within four weeks of Wijewardena's appointment
as an AG, he has been promoted to the post of DG. While holding
that it was not unreasonable for the Monetary Board to decide that
one of the two DGs should be a person with expertise and experience
in the fields of economics and monetary policy, it was held that
the decision to appoint the third respondent as an AG being made
by the second Respondent and not the Monetary Board, was not valid
judgement said, assuming that the promotions made were proper, the
new AGs were in the same class as Heads of Department and hence
the latter group ought to have been considered along with other
senior Special Grade officers. Short-listing the third respondent
and another officer and refusing to promote the other simply because
he had only 16 months service was held to be arbitrary and unreasonable
and the appointment of the third respondent as DG was thus quashed
as those who ought to have been considered for the post are not
The other judges
of the three-member bench were Wadugodapitiya J. and Gunasekera
J. R.K.W. Gunasekera with J.C. Weliammuna and Janaka Samarakoon
appeared for the petitioner while P.A. Ratnayake, Deputy Solicitor
General and Rajiv Goonetillake, State Counsel appeared for the respondents.
Lanka launches modern Distance Learning Centre
Sri Lanka is the first country in South Asia to be linked with the
World Bank's Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) with the
establishment of a state-of-the-art Distance Learning Centre in
Located at the
Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), the centre
is funded by a Learning Innovation Loan (LIL) of $ 2 million from
the World Bank and counterpart funds of $ 1 million from the Sri
Lankan government. It will use a combination of four main technologies
- Video Conferencing, the Internet, CD ROM and Print - to conduct
training and skills development for senior civil servants and corporate
executives, an official statement said.
will be managed and operated by Distance Learning Centre Ltd, (DLC)
a public limited liability company which is a collective enterprise
of the government and private sector. The company's board of directors
represents both the public and private sectors.
assumes special significance as Sri Lanka is poised for an economic
turnaround, and in the context of the renewed possibility of peace,"
DLC Chairman Armyne Wirasinha said. "It will facilitate the
transfer of international best practice in public sector management
and corporate governance, which is critical to strengthen the environment
for policy reforms in Sri Lanka and build capacity in the public
and private sectors."
He said the
company, which is expected to achieve self-financing status by 2005,
would offer a demand-driven fee-based course curriculum based on
training needs assessment and market survey. The courses would range
from global dialogues linking experts in several countries for an
exchange of ideas to half-day programmes or courses of longer duration
on a wide choice of subjects. These courses would be sourced from
the Global Development Learning Network, which would link at least
52 countries, as well as other leading international educational
The core of
the Distance Learning Centre comprises an interactive video classroom
that enables interaction between local course participants, remote
instructors and international participants, and a computer laboratory
consisting of two rooms with 40 personal computers for independent
Internet based interaction among peer groups and instructors.
Some types of "loose" coconut oil, which come in barrels,
are adulterated with cheap vegetable oil, said H.A. Tillekeratne,
chairman of the Coconut Development Authority (CDA).
a recent ceremony where Adamjee Lukmanjee and Sons, established
in the 1860's, won the SLS mark for its N-Joy brand White Coconut
Oil, Tillekeratne said vegetable oils are imported and packed in
attractive packages but the quality of the contents are unknown.
are now aware that there is no cholesterol in coconut oil,"
he added stressing the importance of having quality brands like
N-Joy in retail packs in the market.
He said Adamjee
Lukmanjee is currently the only manufacturer cum regular exporter
of White Coconut Oil in Sri Lanka. The company is also the second
organisation to receive SLS certification for White Coconut Oil.
Chairman of the SLSI, said it is a milestone for a company with
a history of over 100 years of export trading to achieve the SLS
mark for bottled coconut oil within a very short period (in the
the importance of quality and wished other coconut oil millers in
Sri Lanka too would try and obtain this certificate as today's consumers
are becoming more quality conscious.
Managing Director of the company, said it was a happy occasion for
the company in its long history to achieve the SLS mark.
Mishandled baggage, one of the worst nightmares for travellers,
need no longer be a headache - at least at British Airways. With
the online WorldTracer Baggage Tracing system via the BA.com website,
links are provided to appropriate parts of the WorldTracer system
site including 'The Baggage Home page', the 'Contact Us' section
and the 'AskBA' functionality.
A BA press release
said linking through to this online service offers passengers an
extra channel to use for querying the status of their mishandled
baggage. "It is available 24 hours a day thereby enhancing
the customer service offered to our passengers," says Joe Rajadurai,
British Airways Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.