This government didn’t promise to end nepotism, but that doesn’t make nepotism right!
Those in the Opposition love to talk of corruption, nepotism and other instances of bending or even breaking rules and regulation. Typically, such talk ends when they either capture power or switch political loyalties.
Nepotism or rather ending it was a battle cry of the anti-Rajapaksa fraternity. The Yahapalanists interjected the word at every turn in their rhetoric. The promise was broken immediately after Maithripala Sirisena ascended the presidency when he appointed his own brother as the boss of SLT and Mobitel. Nepotism continued to thrive.
It is still thriving, as evident in the new appointments to the foreign service. Here’s a list that is doing the rounds in social media:
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga’s daughter to the consulate in Sydney, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s former girlfriend to Melbourne, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena’s daughter to New York as 3rd Secretary, State Minister Duminda Dissanayaka’s brother as 3rd Secretary to Paris,
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother-in-law as Ambassador to the Seychelles, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Media Secretary’s daughter as 3rd Secretary to Vienna and nephew of former Navy Chief as 3rd Secretary to Singapore. Interestingly, SJB stalwart Tissa Attanayake’s daughter has been posted to Canberra.
This is just the foreign service. There are more than a hundred ‘domestic’ institutions where vacancies can be and possibly have been filled by the ‘near and dear.’
When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed office he appointed a committee tasked to assess applications for top posts. It was cheered by his supporters. Now what? Downhill?
The President has talked of systems, and has in his rhetoric downplayed individuals. Sure, we need individuals but the right ones for the right post. It could be that some of the appointees are capable and have the requisite qualifications, but unless it can be shown that they are the best for the particular position, we have to conclude that it’s just ‘friends and family forever!’
Not good, Mister President for either you are sanctioning it or else don’t have the sway to put a stop to this disgusting practice.