Top career civil servant Lalith Weeratunga over the weekend was re-appointed as the Secretary to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, assumed this position in November 2005 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Prior to this, Weeratunga held the position of Secretary to the Prime Minister from April 2004. Formerly, he was the Director, Re-engineering Government in the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka. He has also been a Senior Consultant at the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, teaching both the Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Public Administration programmes.
Weeratunga entered the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) in January 1977 and has held a number of senior positions in the public service as Secretary to the Prime Minister; Additional Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office; Additional Secretary, Ministry of Education & Higher Education; Director-General, Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission; Vice Chairman, National Apprenticeship Board; and Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. In the early part of his career, he was an Assistant Government Agent.
He had also been the Chief Technical Advisor/Vocational Training Specialist in the Regional Office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for Asia & Pacific, Thailand and had worked as a Consultant of the United Nations Development Programme for the Government of Maldives. In addition, he has done several consultancies for the ILO.
Weeratunga is the Chairman of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and in addition, chairs the Presidential Task Force for National Productivity and the National Administrative Reforms Council. Throughout his career, he has served many Task Forces, Committees and Governing Councils of universities and Boards of directors of Public Corporations and Statutory Boards.
He is also the current Chair of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Committee of ESCAP – the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
In September 2010, Weeratunga was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation at its 50th Council Meeting.
Weeratunga holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colombo and a Bachelors Degree in Natural Sciences from the same university. He is a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow of the Pennsylvania State University, USA.