Sri Lanka: Narayana Murthy declines to be IT advisor to President

Posted on February 18, 2009  /  15 Comments

Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has declined to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan government, the IT bellwether said Wednesday.

In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons.

“I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka. I have decided to withdraw from being the advisor to your government due to personal reasons,” the company quoted Murthy’s letter to Rajapaksa.

Murthy was appointed Feb 13 as Rajapaksa’s international advisor on IT after he was invited to be the chief guest at the launch of “2009 – Year of English and Information Technology” at the presidential secretariat in Colombo.

The Sri Lanka government launched the IT initiative to meet the demands of the 21st century in skills and capacities, mainly in the rural sector.

Incidentally, Murthy told IANS Tuesday that the role of an advisor was to keep his mouth shut and open it only when asked for his views based on experience.

“I am advisor to president of South Korea, prime minister of Malaysia and have been made advisor to Rajapaksa,” Murthy said on the sidelines of a function at the Infosys campus in the electronics city, about 30 km from here.

A day later, Murthy declined the offer.

Read the full story here.


  1. Possible Indian intervention , most probably from Tamil Nadu ?

  2. Well if you invite an Indian do expect the pressure from other Indians in making a sane decision. You thugs cannot get away everytime

  3. Great decision!

    An entrepreneur will never like to work for Hitler personality. If Hitler was alive he will be ashamed and acknowledge and say Mahinda is worser than Hitler with the recent Barbed wire Death camps

  4. I am not surprised.

    Murthy visualises Sri Lanka as another Singapore in ten years time but I think Mahinda is more comfortable Sri Lanka becoming another Venezuela/Cuba. Obviously a clash of visions.

  5. I said no because this president thinks a 500 failed nenasalas is the key to revolutionize IT industry in Sri Lanka. WHo gave him such dead ropes? Can few kadala vendors in Colombo or sweet vendors in Bombay by the road side take care of the food industry of a country?

  6. Ane, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease do not say anything bad about nenasala. That is the only thing we have to show after wasting millions and millions of dollars from World Bank.

    These stupid World Bank fellahs still don’t know that nenasalas have failed. When they send and evaluator we take them to few of the operational ones so they write rosy reports.

    So pleeeeeese do not rock the boat. If they close down nenasalas I will be jobless tomorrow and how can I feed myself and wife? Think about this poor old man and write only good things about nenasalas.

    Epa Seeya, Kirimandala Mawatha

  7. Dear Epa,

    If you do not gracefully back down, you too will lose everything you have just like the former Dino, VKS. High time you left. Or wait and see. Sri Lanka does not need Dinos. Maybe Shaveendra Silva can do a better job than you at ICTA.

  8. It is highly unusual for a person of the stature of Mr Narayan Murthy to resign from the position of IT Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka within five days of its announcement.

    Was the matter not fully discussed before the appointment was announced (i.e., was Mr Narayana Murthy caught by surprise)? Was there a negative reaction to the contents of his speech on the 13th of February?

    This does not look good for either party, neither the President or Mr Narayana Murthy. Personal reasons, as stated in the news report, seems like a cover for something else. Given the stark differences between the President’s policies (stated and implemented) and Mr Narayana Murthy’s views, it is perhaps best that the parting occurred sooner than later. But if that was the case, why was the appointment made in the first place?

  9. Don’t even mention this. A perfect humiliation for me. I personally went to Bangalore with the invitation. This idiot came here, enjoyed our hospitality, and had a nice vacation at our expense and now says he does not take the post. See what HE thinks about me. He might be thinking Suminal cannot even do such a minor job. I have never been subjected to such humiliation in my life.

  10. The fiasco around the Narayana Murthy declination cannot be laid at the door of Dr Sunimal Fernando. This appointment was on IT. If anyone was responsible, it has to be Professor Epasinghe, the Chairman of ICTA.

  11. Anea, please leave me out of this. I know nothing about IT. I did not want this post, but as lokka owes me a favour (I have sold some of my ancestral property to support him in an election long back when I was at Vidyodaya) he offered me this as a compensation. Otherwise I am a tecno-hater who does not even know how to check my email. To me computers mean those cranky machines that crunched punch cards.

    I am just spending my time here till I visit the other world. I forever grateful to my dear friend VKS for this post, which I would have never got in the first place, were he alive.

    Dinosaurs of Sri Lanka unite! We have nothing to lose but our pensions; but we have to world to gain.

    Epa seeya, Kirimandala Mawatha

  12. Iam proud to be an Indian, that NRN refused this post. Its time the world realised a new hitler is born in srilanka. where press freedom is crushed under the boot. a war with no witness. 3 lakh people in concentration camps.
    its time .. the world punished the guilty genocidal maniacs on both sides of this civil war..

  13. NVSN Murthy, Scientist & a passing visitor on earth

    NR Narayanamurthy seldom did his best. He became the best by not doing his best.

    This is the secret of his success.

    NVSN Murthy, Scientist and a temporary visitor on earth currently passing through Indian soil.