the public sector to resuscitate economy
Our public service is the government's huge and widespread establishment
which all persons in every town and village have to interact. So
it is important that the authority at the apex of public administration
ensures that the public service is streamlined for optimum performance.
However, my letter is a sequel to many instances of a lackadaisical
approach, perfunctory and step-motherly treatment meted out in certain
offices of the public service.
servants are entitled to substantial salaries and other emoluments
and pensions for life, all of which are paid from the taxes levied
from the public. They are generally expected to work eight hours
a day with 2 or 1 1/2 days off on weekends and also days off on
full moon days and other public holidays. In addition they are entitled
to substantial leave for private purposes.
comparison with the lot of the masses of this country, the middle
and upper grades of public servants are economically much better
off. Public servants in those grades should undergo some form of
sacrifice to overcome the perilous state of the economy of the country.
has to be realised that in the face of the rights of public servants,
their responsibilities are definitely onerous. Therefore, to meet
the current challenges confronting society, it is the obligation
of every middle and higher-grade public servant to render unstinted
service to rescue our society from the economic and moral depths
it is in. In the process, the noble principle of rendering enthusiastically,
services worth more than the quantum of pay received, should be
adopted and adhered to.
that basis it is submitted that public servants should be called
upon to undergo voluntarily certain sacrifices, some of which are
set out below. The shining examples of the raising of the economies
of Japan and Singapore in recent history are suggested for emulation
in organising the human resources in our public sector.
interim measures for trial in the next two years, the following
guidelines are recommended: (1) Avail of leave only for absolutely
necessary private purposes with no monetary entitlement to be claimed
for foregoing the remainder of the quota of leave. (2) Work at least
two days in every other weekend and every other public holiday with
no extra payment. (3) Organise the homefront by imposing thrifty
lifestyles on oneself and by persuading the spouse and dependent
children to follow suit. (4) Display on the upper front part of
your dress the identification badge indicating name and designation.
(5) Tactfully disregard undue political interference: e.g., telephone
calls and chits emanating from "big shots" and their assistants.
(6) If your work allocation is over or low, discuss matters with
the superior: give the impression that no job is too big or too
small to be undertaken. (7) Exercise courtesy with a genuine smile;
tolerate opinions even when you do not agree with them: give patient
hearing to grievances and adopt a positive approach to solve them
if necessary, with the help of superiors. (8) Transcend deleterious
ethnic, religious, caste and gender influences by giving pride of
place to humanism. (9) Don't do private work or engage in gossip
during office time. (10) Give silent service and keep at arm's length
the measures indicated above are implemented by our public servants
of the middle and higher grades the country would be well on the
road to success. May our broadminded public servants take up the
challenge before the nation!
controversy: Is it in the best interest of country or for political
Thanks to our media we are able to follow the ongoing debate on
conversions. The recent testimonies in one of the papers, one by
a convert to Christianity and the other by a convert to Buddhism,
and also the statement signed by the mainline churches have prompted
me to enter this controversial debate.
will begin with two stories to make my initial point. Both stories
come from India. The first one concerns Vallabhai Sardar Patel,
Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru's Home Minister in the first cabinet. Patel
taking part in a debate on the new Indian constitution concerning
the freedom to practise one's religion in a secular state, speaking
from the floor of the house of the Constituent Assembly said, that
his reading of the gospels was such that no Christian could be a
disciple without sharing with others the gospel message. Patel was
second story concerns Bishop Lessley Newbegin, one-time Bishop of
the Church of South India. Newbegin after a visit to the former
Soviet Union said the church was alive in Russia despite the prohibition
these stories make the point that the task of conversion belongs
to God. God picks and chooses his instruments. Therefore, I will
not panic about the proposed bill on the subject of conversions,
nor will the government's attitude upset me because those in Parliament
are trying to gain political mileage using this subject.
it is sad that what began with former Minister Maheswaran trying
to do in Sri Lanka what Chief Minister Jayalalitha had achieved
in Tamil Nadu is now being taken over by the JHU and the PA government.
In fact, recently, Tamil Nadu has withdrawn the law.
we live in a global village, we in Sri Lanka are a broken community
and this legislation will divide us more and earn a bad name for
us in the midst of global realities. We have more important economic
and political problems to handle. I do not think conversions are
a problem for most of our people.
a Christian I am also sad that the recent statement made public
had been signed only by the leaders of the Roman Catholic, Church
of Ceylon and NCC Churches. There are others outside these structures.
Why haven't they signed these documents, especially the organized
Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka?
I hope and pray that my intervention through this letter will enlighten
the on-going debate.
polls: Understanding the logic behind the verdict
The Provincial Council elections are over and I find strange analyses
from various factions using them to their own political advantage.
The people in the six provinces have given a clear preference to
the UPFA. However, the UPFA government should not overestimate the
people’s mandate due to the following reasons.
44% of registered voters have voted and about 6% have spoilt their
votes. The traditional UNP and SLFP voters have not been interested
in voting but the JVPers have voted wholeheartedly.
resulted in their nominees winning the first three positions on
preferential votes in most of the districts .Most of them are strangers
to the political field. The provincial leaders of the SLFP were
pushed down the ladder or lost. With 71 out of 73 candidates winning
and not accepting any ministerial portfolios, the JVP’s course
of action is very clear. It will say goodbye to the UPFA government
at an appropriate time and will be a major force to be reckoned
with at the next general election if not the major opposition to
SLFP will be a spent force in the near future, if the present leadership
does not understand this simple logic and act upon it.
Retired teachers are asked to forward their educational and professional
certificates, to adjust their pension anomalies. From where are
they to forward these certificates now?
who retired in the early 1980s, had to submit these certificates
to the Ministry of Education, unlike in later years.
salary details were not given to them, at the time of retirement.
Many of them have now passed their 80th mile-post in life.
Is this how, the 'elders' or the so-called 'senior citizens' are
It is learnt that there will be a long delay in the payment of revised
May I suggest that the Director of Pensions take action to instruct
all divisional secretaries to get their staff to calculate these
pensions after office hours at a payment of Rs. 100 a file and to
get these amounts deducted from the relevant pensioners.
to the Editor' should be brief and to the point.
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The Sunday Times,
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