Minister of University Education, Lakshman Kiriella is in a soup after he tried to influence his way to get a supporter appointed to the Kelaniya University.
In a letter dated 08th February 2016, addressed to Upali Hettiarachchi, Head of the political science department at the Kelaniya University, Kiriella said, “P. D. D. Amarasinghe, a resident of Watte Walauwwa, Harispaththuwa, is known to me. Please take the necessary steps to appoint him as a temporary lecturer on political science.”
Reacting to this blatant misuse of power, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, former FUTA president said that Kiriella must resign from his ministerial portfolio for issuing this letter, misusing his position as the subject minister. “FUTA must take the lead, along with the support of all other university unions and lecturers, to pressure him into resigning,” Devasiri said.
In December 2015, another political appointment was overturned after lecturers of the Kelaniya University objected to the appointment of CaFFE executive director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, one time Keiriella’s secretary as a member of the university’s governing council.
Secretary of their association N.G.A. Karunatilake wrote to Lakshman Kiriella, alleging it was a political appointment. The lecturers demand the cancellation of the appointment before December 20, or warned of union action if the demand was not met. The appointment was subsequently cancelled.