Sri Lanka RDA Director General demoted by new Minister-Updated

Sept 25, 2015 (LBO) – The director general of Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority has been demoted by the new minister, a day after taking over the highways portfolio, an official said.

Although this could be an attempt to clean up an institution notorious for corruption, it appears to be the opposite.

The official in question has been known for blocking extra-budgetary allocations for contractors, and some believe he offered hope for the RDA to clean up its act.

“The new secretary to the ministry could not work with him, it seems, so has been demoted,” an official said on the condition of anonymity, referring to the demotion of B.V.N. Chandrasiri.

The Road Development Authority Engineers’ Association (RDAEA) has written a letter to the President about this and the recurring problem of governance in top management of the RDA that decides massive road contracts for the island.

“We have had discussions with the honourable minister. The transfer has been done, now it is too late,” H.M.M. Wijesundara, the president of the RDAEA told Lanka Business Online.

“He has been demoted to his original position,” he said.

The customary practice within the RDA has been to appoint the most senior and experienced official within the organization to the position of director general.

The new minister Lakshman Kiriella, who took over from Kabir Hashim, has taken a decision even before portfolios were gazetted on September 21, the source said.