Basil bats for PB

  Published : 12:54 am  May 30, 2012  |  2,359 views  |  13 comments  |  Print This Post   |  E-mail to friend
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  • Clears allegations against Dr. Jayasundera, Secretary to both Economic Development Ministry and Finance Ministry; says Secretary has no personal animosity but heads need to work together with the Minister and through Secretary
  • Reveals Nalaka Godahewa was asked to resign as part of reconstituting the three tourism entities and not due to his inability to work with the Ministry or tussle with Secretary
  • Admits one-stop-shop concept in both BOI and Sri Lanka Tourism Authority still far below their expectation; calls for better performance, best practices, financial discipline, good governance as well as private sector-led destination marketing
  • BOI to be reconstituted with CEO appointment by mid-June

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday issued a lengthy statement denying the barrage of criticism against his Ministry Secretary as well as the Treasury with regard to recent issues concerning tourism and investment promotion.
Via the statement, Minister Rajapaksa also set the record straight with regard to recent, ongoing and planned policy changes with regard to the tourism and investment growth.

“The media reports have given the impression that the organisations are unable to perform due to the interference by the Ministry of Economic Development and on promotional matters due to Treasury involvements. The Ministry of Economic Development denies this completely,” Minister Rajapaksa said in his statement.
With regard to the exit of Dr. Nalaka Godahewa from three tourism entities with media reports implying he resigned, Minister Rajapaksa clarified saying he (Minister) “requested Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman, to resign” and  “Consequently, he sent his resignation.” This,” the Minister said was “to reconstitute the organisations.”
“The resignation of the Chairman was not due to his inability to work with the Ministry or due to a tussle between the Secretary and the Chairman as implied in media reports in which case he should have resigned from Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority as well,” Minister Rajapaksa said.
The change was after Minister summoning a meeting of all tourism entities following recent COPE meeting on Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. At this meeting among other things he had expressed concerns over the performance of the organisations and issues that continue to come up at the COPE meetings. He had also explained to the participants that all organisations must strictly work according to the Government vision and strategy of the industry.
With regard to tourism marketing, the Minister also expressed his desire to see that the big players in the industry themselves take a lead in promotional activities similar to apparel and tea.   
“At this meeting (the Minister) also emphasised the need for a strict administrative and financial discipline in the organisations coming under the purview of the Ministry, to ensure that the Ministry is not subject to undue criticism,” the statement added.
The Minister explained that since a number of private sector corporate personalities and trade representatives are on the Board, he expects best practices and corporate approach in management. He explained that his expectation is that the Board members discuss issues sufficiently, develop corporate plans and strategies and give leadership to effective implementation in a pragmatic manner within the overall strategy of the Government ensuring good governance.
In response to the letter sent to the Godahewa by Dr. Jayasundera, the Minister said it was only a usual practice in such correspondence and has nothing to do with his involvement in the matter raised therein.
“The role of the Secretary to the Ministry and his officials is to interface with relevant agencies coming under the purview of the Ministry under the direction and guidance of the Minister.  The Ministry is duty bound to perform its oversight responsibilities and accountability functions. The Secretary to the Ministry is the Chief Accounting Officer and all heads of agencies need to cooperate with him in the discharge of these responsibilities. The heads of organisations need to work together with the Minister and through the Ministry Secretary and officials,” Minister Rajapaksa said.
In that context he added that that there was no personal animosity, or other motives behind in collecting such information as implied in the media reports. The Ministry regrets to note the manner in which the Secretary to the Ministry has been dragged on to these issues to tarnish the image of the Ministry.
“The intention of the Government is to amalgamate all four tourism-related agencies to make a cost effective agency to promote and develop tourism industry. The relevant legislation is under preparation,” Minister Rajapaksa emphasised.
With regard to the Board of Investment, Minister Rajapaksa said it was misleading to attribute that BOI performance has been adversely affected by the Treasury. The Ministry officials and sometimes the Minister himself get involved in solving procedural issues and other complexities associated with other line agencies.
In his statement, Rajapaksa also noted: “The one-stop shop at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority was also created on a directive given by the Ministry to ensure industry issues will be resolved effectively. Many investors have brought to the notice of the Ministry that the performance of this one-stop-shop concept in both BOI and Sri Lanka Tourism Authority is still far below their expectation.”
He also said that he proposes to reconstitute the BOI and the appointment of a new CEO by mid June 2012.
“In this background, the Ministry of Economic Development wishes to state that information aired in the media over the weekend is grossly distorted and does not reflect the real picture in the organisations and the Ministry. As any changes and reforms involve resistance and reactions, the information that has gone to the media corresponds to such human behaviour rather than the hard reality in those places,” Minister Rajapaksa’s statement added.



13 Responses to “Basil bats for PB”

  1. Aditya perera on May 30th, 2012 7:26 am

    If one stop shops of both BOI and TOURISM are performing below expectation what has the ministry being doing for the last 3years. When Mr Paskaralingam was the all powerful secretary to treasury in late 80,s isn’t it he who gave leadership to such investor facilitation. treasury secretary who has been in the driving seat for nearly 16 years is well known for the blame game. He will always find scape goats for his failures. Wasn’t he who brought Jayampathi Bandaranayake to BOI , Susantha Ratnayake to Tea Board! Nalaka Godahewa to Tourism . Why can’t these professional who have made a name elsewhere can not perform under PB . Only time will tell and there is a limit minister Basil can protect him.

  2. Jon on May 30th, 2012 8:52 am

    Yet another Sri Lankan farce under the Rajapaske Mafia…..

  3. Noor Nizam on May 30th, 2012 9:55 am

    The Government strategy is to promote Sri Lanka as a model tourism destination to improve the global image of Sri Lanka by creating a conducive tourism environment and improving domestic tourism, benefiting from the country’s natural, cultural and historical diversity and ensure to cater 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016. The Hon. Ministers of Finance and Planning and Ministry of Economic Affairs have laid down guidelines for this as recommended by the Secretary of both these Ministries, Mr. P.B. Jayasundera. Officials of the caliber of this official are an asset to the Nation. People like UNP National Organiser Daya Gamage when he was speaking at a luncheon meeting hosted by Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad at her official residence, No 23, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7 as stated in the Island of today. These people know nothing rather than to swindle state resources, and now they want to sabotage the economic development of the nation by making false statements and allegations about the government and it’s top officials to a gathering of top executives of companies doing business in Norway were diplomats from several other diplomatic missions in Colombo were also present. It is very clear that some of the members of the International community, while engaged in conspiracies in their country territories, have now attempted to gather important personalities in their diplomatic and residential places, which under International Law and Relations enjoys the privilege of being an extended part of their Sovereign country in the territory of the Sovereign state of Sri Lanka, to continue the conspiracies against our Motherland, which they have been carrying on in their countries. Rather than making this type of conspiracies, it would have been objective and proactive for the Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad to have arranged a positive investor group from Norway to Sri Lanka and requested BOI, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Planning and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera to address them, rather than give platforms to Anti-Sri Lanka elements to damage the socio-economical and infrastructure and development of our country. It should also be noted that Dr. P.B. Jayasundera is a personality of a different caliber. The new plans for tourist development are part of the fast-track strategies the government is trying to put in place to help the economical upliftment of the nation. The vision of this man is “great” and he is a “doer”. That makes him a difficult “boss” to work with. Why cannot the government officials, politicians and the business magnates give heed to this person’s vision and listen to him. An example of the self determination to be a free Nation from the crutches of foreign economical dominance and self reliance as what India is today, from the crutches of foreign economical dominance and self reliance, is how Mahathma Ghandi inspired the India. When Mahathma Ghandi saw that the British ships carrying riches of India to Europe/Briton and was sending SALT in their empty merchant vessels, he just took a handful of SALT and went to the beach and threw it into the sea. The astonished Indians asked the Mahathma, why he did so. The answer was, India is surrounded by sea and yet we are still depended on the SALT the British exports to us in order not to allow their empty ships to sail back on their return journey after taking our riches/produce to Europe/Briton. WHY CANNOT WE PRODUCE OUR OWN SALT? The Mahatma’s vision then has made India one of the world’s largest producers and exporter of SALT to the Far-east and Europe. Even Sri Lanka imports SALT from India. Shame, Sri Lanka too being surrounded by the sea imports 38% of it’s requirement of SALT every year, mostly from India. Is not the vision of Dr. P.B. Jayasundera the same as that of the Mahathma Gandhi of India.
    Professional Analyst.

  4. Cynic on May 30th, 2012 10:05 am

    Thick as thieves.

  5. elwis on May 30th, 2012 10:37 am

    My personal opinion is best thing to appoint experience people loyal to the high ranks of the ministry for smooth function. those who are not obeying should remove from their positions.

  6. Hasthi on May 30th, 2012 11:43 am

    Changing governments through elections is everybody’s right.

    But the sabotaging of a government’s work from within or from outside to achieve their own political or personal goals, is a national crime, because in the end who suffer from these acts are not the politicans and officials but the general public.

    So even when ones affiliations lie with the opposition, he/she should not be doing anything to harm the country or the activity of the government. Any such sabotaging activity to me is in the same league as the devastating war that killed mostly the innocent than the perpetrators.

    Loyalty to the country and therefore to the government present at a given time should not be compromised by each and every citizen.

  7. Manushya on May 30th, 2012 11:45 am

    PB is a swollen headed bureaucrat who only thinks about himself and nothing else, also without a vision and a clear strategy for the development of our nation. Yes he is a capable person too. But he should clearly understand that he is not jack of all trades or the “sarwabaladariya” and hence should allow capable professionals to do their job and to facilitate their work rather than blocking and trying to crush them using his political/position power. We should not forget the fact that he is a person who has been punished by the supreme courts for his ill doing too. I don’t blame the minister for trying to protect him and the minister has done his rightful duty by doing so. But there is a limit that the minister can do to protect him too.

  8. Stock Analyst on May 30th, 2012 3:06 pm

    All knowing economic genius the Economic Monster and only Tresury Secretary who led the country to a negative economic growth. God save Sri Lanka when these experts act together. Or Wimale will say GOD works only for the Christian West.

  9. Sathyam on May 30th, 2012 3:13 pm

    It is worth much more than 10%

  10. Nilantha on May 30th, 2012 5:09 pm

    “The Ministry of Economic Development denies this completely.” Notice that Basil Rajapaksa doesn’t deny anything; it is the ministry that does it. If sh*t hits the fan, he can always claim, he has not denied anything.

    Oh the people of Sri Lanka are being ridden like donkey born to a turkey and a sheep; poor sobs.

  11. Aahil Aarib on May 31st, 2012 4:55 pm


  12. Rajiv Wadulpitiya on June 1st, 2012 9:24 am

    It is good news that Jayasundara is clearly shaken for the fisrt time. BOI chairman and Tourism Chairman have exposed Jayasundara mafia and PBJ is now writing full page explanations showing his innocence. This country is now run by PB Jayasundara and not by Rajapksa’s. Without PBJs approval nothing happpens. Thats how he can put press releases like this selling Ministers name when Basil Rajapaksa is actually abroad.He knows that Minister is under his thumb. Daily FT should not have used an old picture of PBJ and Basil Rajapaksa at a press conference misleading the public.

  13. Ganesh Mendis on June 1st, 2012 9:28 am

    Shame Shame Shame Mr Basil Rajapaksa………

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