CBEU protests against political pressure to reappoint ex-employees of LDB

Monday, 20 November 2017 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • CBEU says reappointing ex-workers found guilty for financial misconduct tarnish image of good governance Govt
  • Denies allegations by Ministers on ‘political harassment’; seeks President’s support

By Charumini de Silva

The Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) on Friday staged a protest in front of Lankaputhra Development Bank head office, against a decision made by Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim and State Public Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene requesting the State bank’s management to recruit two employees who were expelled for financial frauds. 

The CBEU said the Ministers are requesting to reappoint two officials namely Wasanthi Nanayakkara and U. Ranatunga who were expelled from the bank for directly being involved in some major financial frauds of the bank after conducting investigations according to the law of the country and bank system’s statutes.

The Daily FT learns that a in letter dated on 12 October 2017 the two Ministers have requested the management of the bank to hire N.W.A.R.W. Nanayakkara who was expelled from work on 28 October 2013, while the Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has also made the same request on two letters dated 18 September 2015 and 11 April 2016.

The letter signed by the two Ministers in-charge at present states that although instructions were given to recruit Nanayakkara by the Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewawitharana in a letter dated 4 January 2017, the management has ignored all requests stressing on several reasons not to recruit her. 

Thereby the Ministers said not adhering to these requests was an indication that she was being harassed for some political reason and noted that if she seeks legal action on the matter, the State bank would have to face serious consequences as well to pay compensation.

However, the CBEU vehemently rejected the allegations made by the Ministers that she is being politically harassed. They pointed out that Nanayakkara who was the Manager of LDB Hambantota Branch, was found guilty by an investigation conducted by the bank for serious financial misconducts and was expelled from office. Thereafter she has filed a case against the LDB at the Labour Tribunal in Kaduwela, where the case is still being heard.

Yet, the Ministers have once again requested the LDB management to recruit Nanayakkara and if there are further investigations that need to be carried out, they have no objections over it.

On a letter dated 14 November 2017 the Union has written to President Maithripala Sirisena on this matter seeking for a solution insisting that this kind of political pressure to reappoint people that were found guilty for financial frauds are tarnishing the goodwill and image of the good governance Government.

According to CBEU, Ranatunga was working as the Manager of LDB Chilaw branch and was found guilty for being directly involved in many financial scams. The frauds that he was involved in were also highlighted by the COPE. After the investigations carried out by the bank, he was found guilty and was expelled from work. 

The CBEU requests President Sirisena to direct the officials involved not to reappoint these people against this backdrop, until the court hearings and investigations are completed.