President Maithripala Sirisena has sabotaged his own recruitment process for the high-profile state assignments when he appointed former provincial governors Reginald Cooray and Niluka Ekanayake as heads of state institutions.
Cooray has been appointed the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewelry Corporation while Ekanayake has been appointed the Chairperson of the State Timber Corporation. Both institutions directly come under the purview of President Sirisena.
President Sirisena issued a circular last week to ministry secretaries informing them of a committee to vet the resumes of individuals by Cabinet ministers to head state institutions. The President also instructed them to appoint the heads only after the recommendations of the committee, headed by Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne.
The President has also informed the committee that the heads of all state institutions should be university graduates with relevant professional qualifications and managerial experience.
However, both Cooray and Ekanayake do not meet the standard set by the President. They are not university graduates nor do they have any managerial experience. Cooray is a teacher by professional training while Ekanayake is an astrologer.
Both of them were not retained as governors when Sirisena appointed new governors to all provinces earlier this week.