Retired Navy Chief of Staff appointed NorthEast Governor

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 January 2006, 12:18 GMT]
Retired Rear Admiral Mohan Wijeyawickrema Friday assumed duties as the sixth Governor of the NorthEast Province at the sub-office of the Governor's Secretariat in Colombo. Mr Wijewickrema retired as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) prematurely as his seniority was overlooked when Ms Kumaratunge appointed Rear Admiral Vasantha Karanagoda as the Commander of the SLN in 2005. The new Governor is scheduled to pay his first official visit to the Secretariat located in Trincomalee facing the Trincomalee harbor next week, officials of the Secretariat said.

Lieutenant General Nalin Seneviratne, former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army was appointed first Governor of the North East Province with the creation of North East Provincial Council (NEPC) under the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution in August 1987.

Mr. Lionel Fernando, a senior civil servant and who served as the Government Agent of Jaffna and Trincomalee succeeded Lt. General Nalin Seneviratne as the second governor. Mr.Gamini Fonseka, a popular film actor and politician later succeeded him. Major General (Retd) Ashoka Jayawardene was appointed the fourth governor of the province. He relinquished his governor post on being appointed the Defense Ministry Secretary.

Mr.Tyronne Fernando, a former Foreign Minister under the UNP government and later joined the government led by former Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge was appointed fifth governor of the province.

Rear Admiral Mohan Wijeyawickrema has been appointed the sixth governor this week following Mr.Tyronne Fernando being appointed as the senior advisor to the Foreign Ministry by President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse.

The North East Provincial Council (NEPC) was constituted with the sole intention of finding a political solution to the Tamil national question of the Tamil speaking people in the province.

The NEPC was administered by an elected administration only for two years, 1989 and 1990. The then President Mr.R.Premadasa dissolved the elected council of the NEPC following conflict with the provincial administration in the year 1990, sources said.

Thereafter the NEPC is being administered by the Central Government through its representative, who is the Governor appointed by the President of the country, sources said.

However all other provincial councils in the south of the country are having elected administration through elections conducted regularly, sources said.


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