The parliament of Sri Lanka has decided to call for a probe on organizations that confer honorary titles on people.
The decision was made following a statement made by United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva that an organization has requested for money from him to confer an honorary title on him.
“I received a letter on 7 October last year from the All Ceylon Nena Guna Foundation, informing of an opportunity to get conferred with any of the honorary titles such as Deshamanya, Deshabandu, Lankaputhra, Kalanidhi and Sri Lanka Jana Ranjana. In return they have asked for a payment. Some other members in this house have also received similar letters. This organisation claims to have shortlisted 100 personalities to receive such titles for 2013,” the UNP MP has told parliament.
Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has said in response that the President confers the titles Deshamanya and Deshabandu on par with the formalities given in a Gazette notification, which came out in 1986.
Titles such as Lankaputhra, Kalanidhi and Sri Lanka Jana Ranjana are not within the scope of any institution to confer Minister Gunawardena said.
“We will investigate into this matter since you have identified it as a fraud. You have obtained your doctorate having studied for it. But we don’t recognize any other individual who obtained doctorates differently and identify themselves as doctors,” Gunawardena has said, adding that parliament should take measures to strike off false qualifications and honorary titles.