Trustee “missing” amidst political drama
By Shanika Udawatte
President Chandrika Kumaratunga had ordered the Deputy Public Trustee
to go ahead signing a document for the removal of the Chairman and
two other directors of Associated Newspapers Ceylon Ltd (ANCL) -
Lake house - after the Public Trustee had gone 'missing'.
in a letter to the Deputy Public Trustee, F R Fernandopulle had
said that he was being directed to carry out her instructions 'immediately'
as she was "made to understand that the Public Trustee, N.S.A.S.
Seneviratne, is not available in office" and "his whereabouts
had wanted Mr. Fernandopulle to issue letters removing ANCL Chairman
Nalin Ladduwahetti, Director Editorial Bandula Padmakumara and Working
Director K.D. Somasiri. The public Trustee who could not be traced
reported to work the following day.
had personally called the Deputy Public Trustee on two occasions
while the President's co-ordinating Secretary Sumanatissa Thambugala
operating from the Public Trustee's office had made attempts to
trace Mr. Seneviratne.
wife had said that the Public Trustee had left home in the morning,
and she was not aware about his whereabouts and Mr. Thambugala is
reported to have said that it was best a police entry is lodged.
Advisor Mano Tittawella also had called Mr. Fernandopulle and complained
about the inability to trace the Public Trustee. Mr. Tittawella
had contacted him and said that it was astonishing that such senior
government officials went missing when they were provided with official
vehicle, telephones etc. to report to work in an emergency.
Times learns that Mr. Fernandopulle has filed a full report to the
Secretary to Ministry of Buddhasasana about the events leading to
the removal of the Lake House Chairman and two others.
had arrived at the Public Trustee Department on Wednesday around
9.15 a.m. with the directives from the President to remove the chairman
and the Board of Directors of the ANCL.
who was in the Deputy Public Trustee's chamber, on the directions
received from the President’s House, had requested Deputy
Public Trustee Fernadopulle to send a 'list of his duties' and a
copy of the Public Trustee Act to the President's House. Mr. Fernandopulle
has done so after contacting the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhashsana.
Minister W J M Lokubandara, too, had contacted Mr. Fernandopulle
at this stage and directed him to carry out his duties lawfully.
After receiving the duty list and a copy of the Public Trustee Act,
President Kumaratunga contacted Mr. Fernandopulle and informed him
that signing and issuing the letter removing the Chairman and the
Board of Directors of the ANCL was part of his duty and he should
do so after receiving a letter to that effect from the President.
had then met the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana to discuss
the situation and it was decided that he should carry out any written
instructions from the President. Mr. Fernandopulle when he returned
to his office had received the letter from the President and he