Top business leader and Minister-to-be Dhammika Perera yesterday resigned from all his companies and was named as a National List MP via an extraordinary gazette as part of preparations to be appointed as a Cabinet Minister.
The respective Colombo Stock Exchange-listed companies notified Dhammika’s resignation yesterday. The move is ahead of Dhammika’s appointment as the Minister of Investment Promotion and Technology following his appointment as a National List MP from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
With Dhammika obtaining the party membership SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam wrote to the Elections Commissioner naming Dhammika as the party’s nominee to fill the National List seat vacated by Rajapaksa who resigned on Thursday.
Dhammika will take oaths as a MP when the House next meets in the third week of June whilst he is tipped to be appointed as Minister shortly.
Dhammika is the Co-Chairman and Non-Executive Director of the country’s most diversified blue chip Hayleys PLC. Hayleys and subsidiaries separately announced his resignation from the Board of Directors. Companies which announced the move yesterday included Hayleys PLC and its subsidiaries, Vallibel One PLC and its subsidiaries, Singer Sri Lanka PLC and its subsidiaries, Royal Ceramics Group, Lanka Walltiles Group and LB Finance PLC. In most of these entities he was either the Chairman or Executive Director.
In a related development, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday issued an Extraordinary Gazette declaring the creation of two new Ministries - Technology and Investment Promotion and Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment.
The Gazette notification indicated that President Rajapaksa has transferred several institutions, powers and responsibilities previously held by the Defence Ministry, to the newly created Technology and Investment Promotion Ministry.
Government institutions transferred to the new Ministry include the Board of Investment (BOI), Colombo Port City Economic Commission, Department of Registration of Persons, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) and allied institutions, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and allied institutions, Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Sri Lanka Telecom and its subsidiaries, Colombo Lotus Tower Management Company Ltd., Techno Park Development Company Ltd., Information Technology Parks (Jaffna and Mannar), Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology Ltd., (SLINTEC), Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) and Sri Lanka Institute of Biotechnology Ltd.
Dhammika previously served as the Secretary of the Ministry of Transport from January 2011 to January 2015 and as BOI Chairman in April 2007 to May 2010.[/size]
Dhammika Perera as the head of the Board of Investment had failed to attract foreign investment and it was silly to expect him to attract foreign investment as a Minister, Education Secretary of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), Pubudu Jayagoda said.Jayagoda went on to say that from time to time, rulers tried to hoodwink the people.[
“Look at Gotabaya, everyone was made to believe he was a strong and efficient leader. People were made to believe that Ranil was an economic maven. Now, the same people are trying to convince us that Dhammika Perera will be able to perform miracles.
Jayagoda said that running a business was not at all similar to running a country and when given the opportunity to serve the nation, Perera had not performed well.
“As I mentioned earlier, he headed the BOI for a long time. Where are the investments he brought? It was his job to attract foreign investments at that time. And he couldn’t. It is really unlikely that he would make any positive contribution to the country’s economy.Jayagoda also said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had not presented a plan to resolve the economic crisis.
“He comes on TV and whines. He tells Parliament that things are beyond his control. He is asking people to be ready to eat two meals, instead of three. He asks people not to travel because there is no fuel. He whines. We say, he should go home if he can’t do it. People of the country didn’t ask him to be Prime Minister. He accepted the premiership saying he could resolve the crisis. If he can’t, he should leave,” Jayagoda said.