Rajiva Wijesinha resigns as State Minister?
February 14, 2015 11:27 am
State Minister of higher Education Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha has resigned from his ministerial portfolio, reliable sources told Ada Derana.
The MP, who defected from the UPFA government to support Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential Election, was reportedly distraught in the wake of the pressure exerted on UGC Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama to resign.
According to sources, Prof. Wijesinha has informed Minister of Highways Higher Education and Investment Promotion, Kabir Hashim, regarding his decision.
However, attempts to contact Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha regarding the matter were unsuccessful.
Hirimburegama had tendered her resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena through Minister Kabir Hashim, on 9 February, amid pressure from the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) to resign.
On Thursday, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha told Ada Derana that Hirimburegama would continue as the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC) until the President makes a new appointment for the position.
He added Hirimburegama can remain in her post until the new appointment is made in terms of the Universities Act.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had appointed Prof. Hirimburegama as the UGC Chairperson on 1 February, 2013.
On January 23, Prof. Nalin De Silva resigned as a member of UGC, citing that he can no longer continue to serve in that position while safeguarding his self-respect.