Political stooges stand in the way of qualified persons: TISL

Sep 22 (IL) The Government, which assumed office after the April 2 General Election, took many incorrect and/or inappropriate decisions by nominees to key high posts mainly based on leadership, favouritism and not in the interest of the state, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) revealed yesterday.

TISL in a report on key high posts also noted that ideally qualified persons who should be appointed to such key high posts are deprived of this opportunity due to politicians appointing their 'political stooges' to these positions.

It further noted that 'successive governments unashamedly' continued this practice which not only resulted in depriving those most ideally suited for these posts, but even the Minister who appoints his/her stooges to this post is later unable to deal with their stooges. Hence many ministers are reluctant to 'pull up' any such appointees (stooges) mainly due to party affiliations.

The report further pointed out that the Parliament Committee on High Posts is, according to the public, continuously rendered redundant in the past, and it has failed to meet its objectives.

Spokesman for this project, Chrishmal Warnasuriya in his introduction noted that the TISL primarily monitored the appointments made by the Government that assumed office in the 13th Parliament.

This project commenced in March 2004, and is focused on the period of March-August 2004.

The TISL in its recommendations have also called for amendments (Standing Orders 128 A) to make the Parliament Committee on High Posts 'more effective and meaningful'.

Among the reports other recommendations are: allow public hearings of complaints regarding the suitability of candidates/appointees. Make it necessary for the High Posts Committee to table reports in Parliament.

Ensure that every high post appointment should be made subject to the approval of the High Post Committee in Parliament and the committee should also examine the removals