The chairman of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Limited, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando has been removed by the government. It is understood that a dispute with the minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Media, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera had led to the removal of Mr. Fernando.

Mr. Fernando has not favoured the granting of various facilities and concessions to private sector companies Lanka Bell and Suntell. Sri Lanka Telecommunications Limited is also a privatised company but the government still holds a certain number of shares.It is ironical that Mr. Hemasiri Fernando played a very important role in privatising the former government owned Sri Lanka Telecommunications.

In addition the employees of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Limited are unhappy about the removal of the chairman as well as the concessions given to the private sector. They have threatened to take trade union action and any strike by them would disrupt the entire communication system including faxes and e-mails.