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Transparency International is urging stricter controls to prevent political appointments to top public sector posts if a new President is elected this year. Transparency International is urging stricter controls to prevent political appointments to top public sector posts if a new President is elected this year.

Sri Lanka’s public sector and diplomatic corps, at least since the 1970’s, have been used to reward political supporters and staunch party loyalists by successive governments.

Common practice with a change in government sees top postings like Secretaries to Ministries and Chairmen of public corporations stepping down to make way for new appointments.

In Sri Lanka’s case, that has been thrice in the past four years. By law, a new Minister can fire and replace any official at will, without need to furnish reasons.

“The Executive must be governed by reason. Public bodies should continue despite a change in government. There has to be selection criteria and there should also be provisions for removal,” J.C Weliamuna, Executive Director at Transparency International, Sri Lanka, said.

In countries like the United Kingdom, that is thro