Mystery behind CMC Commissioner’s questionable transfer?

Published : 12:05 am  March 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (274) reads | 

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By Nabeela Hussain  

The unreasonable transfer of the Commissioner of the Colombo Municipality might have negative consequences in some areas of the local government body, senior officials and elected councillors said yesterday.   


Addressing the media yesterday, outraged and disappointed officials and elected members denounced the move by the provincial governor to remove Commissioner V. K. A. Anura from his post as the Colombo Municipality’s Commissioner.   


Senior municipality officials and elected members had nothing but praise for the former Commissioner, who they illustrated as a fair and efficient officer. “There was no council for a long time, but he managed to maintain everything and work through all the issues that cropped up. As a special commissioner he has made some very fair decisions during his time,” they said. 

 
Diving into the nuances of the letter of transfer, officials said the letter from the Provincial Governor had stated that ‘service requirements’ had prompted the official be transferred with immediate effect to the Chief Secretary’s Office.   


“There is no issue with an officer being transferred. The issue here is that there was no clear reason given for the decision. It has everyone in the municipality in a tizzy that a senior official who was well known for his work ethic and efficiency was removed from his post in such a manner,” senior officials said.   


Lalith Wickramarathna, appointed as the Acting Commissioner for the Colombo Municipality speaking to the media said he too had discussed the matter with the Governor. “I explained the situation at the CMC at the moment. I was told that the transfer took place due to service requirements and I was not given a specific reason either,” he said.   


Spit-balling reasons for the change in administration, some believed it was the political influence of a minister meddling in local government affairs while others believed the government had made Anura the scapegoat of the Meethotamulla tragedy.   

 

There is no issue with an officer being transferred. The issue here is that there was no clear reason given for the decision. It has everyone in the municipality in a tizzy that a senior official who was well known for his work ethic and efficiency was removed from his post


“If the tragedy at Meethotamulla was the reason for this, then we have to ask those responsible why action has not been taken against the Commissioners of other local government bodies who also dumped at the site. 


It was not just the Colombo Municipality which dumped garbage at the dump yard, there were many other local government bodies who did the same,” elected member M. A. Sharafdeen 
pointed out.   


Roy Bogahawatte and Sunil Withanage, both re-elected members of the Council, however pointed an accusatory finger at a Minister who they claimed could not have his way with the assets of the municipality and had since engineered the transfer.   


“They tried to give stalls at ‘Adi 100’ to their henchmen during the elections and this particular minister has tried to get other private partnerships with buildings and areas coming under the purview. Unable to do what they want they have engineered this so they can put in their lackeys in key positions here,” they said.   


Both officials and elected members at the press briefing said they would take measures to ensure Anura was re-instated. While internal discussions are being held by department heads and employees of the municipality, a group of elected members are collecting signatures for a petition demanding the reinstatement, in time for the new council.