Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella is unfit to hold a ministerial portfolio unless he apologises over the controversial letter sent by him and the way he reacted to a question by a journalist over the matter, the Left Centre emphasised yesterday.
Addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo, Co-Convener of the Left Centre and former lecturer at the University of Peradeniya Dr. Michael Fernando said the reaction of the minister to the media is uncivilised and indecent.
He said the letter sent by the minister requesting that a particular individual be appointed as a temporary lecturer to the Department of Political Science is a violation of the University Act. “This act is illegal and unethical, and the minister’s attempt to justify it is even more serious. The minister’s statement that he is empowered by the University Act to do so, shows his ignorance, craftiness and high-handedness. This type of behaviour is a gross violation of the tenets this Government promised to uphold,” Dr.Michael Fernando said.
He observed no minister has any legal or moral right to give jobs to his supporters, just because of they involved in their political activities.
“This behaviour shows the level of deterioration of our political culture,” he added.
The minister said this was a UNP Government. This statement is totally wrong as the current Government comprises of many parties. University lecturers, students and all those who uphold good governance and democratic principles should stand against this behaviour, not to topple this Government, but to take it back to the democratic track,” he said.