A senior Women and Child Affairs Ministry official who had completed her term as National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) director had forced her way into a meeting of the NCPA’s Director Board and intimidated those present, officials alleged. They said the former director, who was also an Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, had allegedly prevented new NCPA Director Ashoka Alawatta from attending the board meeting.
An official representing the Secretary to the Ministry is appointed to the NCPA’s Director Board for a term of six years. The post was previously held by Additional Secretary (Administration and Finance) Suseema Wijesekara.
Her term came to an end recently when she completed six years at her post. Accordingly, NCPA Chairman Marini De Livera had informed Minister Chandrani Bandara of this and the Minister had appointed Additional Secretary (Development) Ashoka Alawatta for the post for a six-year term.
However, when the NCPA’s director board met recently for its meeting, Ms Wijesekara had walked into the meeting room and announced that she would be attending the meeting on the instructions of the Ministry Secretary. She had then presented a paper calling for the reinstatement of an NCPA staff member who is currently suspended. Other members of the Director Board however, had refused to accept her request.
The NCPA has now sought the advice of the Attorney General to ascertain whether Ms Wijesekara’s attendance at the Director Board Meeting was legally valid. A complaint is also due to be made against her for allegedly trying to use undue influence on the NCPA for the reinstatement of an employee who has been suspended on disciplinary grounds.