Bathiudeen hijacks one more key institution from Swaminathan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 19:33 GMT]
The EPDP leader and a former SL Minister Douglas Devanada lost control of the affairs of the SL State-run industrial establishments such as the Palmyra Development Board and the Elephant Pass Saltern to the new collaborator of the SL regime in Colombo. The new collaborator, D.M. Swaminathan, who is a Colombo-based Tamil representing the UNP has virtually lost control of his own institutions. Five months have elapsed since the Elephant Pass Saltern was assigned to the SL Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs. But, his ministry is still not in control of the key institution. The UPFA-affiliated controversial SL Minister Rishad Bathiudeen is controlling the affairs of one of the major industrial entity in North through Maanthai Salt Ltd., which comes under his ministry, civil sources in Jaffna told TamilNet on Tuesday.

D.M. Swaminathan
Mr Swaminathan facing questions from the uprooted people of Mu'l'likku'lam in Mannaar on 30 May 2015. The occupying SL military forced the visiting SL minister to wait in front of the gates of the SL Navy garrison for more than 40 minutes on that day
Following similar criticism in February with regards to the Palmyra Development Board, the ministry of Swaminathan has gained control of the Board, the civil sources that have been urging the SL minister to allow the people of the region and their governing bodies to decide the affairs of their economic institutions.

The phase 1 development of Elephant Pass Saltern was carried out under the ministry of Douglas Devananda. While there are questions of how the funds were utilized, there was at least some control of the RDS societies in the region, they said.

Before 1990, the Elephant Pass Saltern produced more than 85,000 metric tons of salt a year. Around 300 of 1,500 acres of the EPS saltern was expected to produce 25,000 metric tons of salt per year and 700 million rupees was expected to be generated through the industrial venture in the first 6 months alone.

Mr D.M. Swaminathan is only having 7 institutions assigned to him as Departments, Statutory Institutions and Public Corporations according to a Gazette Notification issued on 18 January 2015. These are: Resettlement Authority, Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Palmyra Development Board, Elephant Pass Saltern, North Sea Limited and Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs.

Mr Rishad Bathiudeen was assigned the responsibility of 32 various institutions through the same Gazette Notification. Maanthai Salt Ltd is one of them.


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