Asgiri, Malwathu Chief Prelates commend ANCL management for
initiatives to develop institution
The Chief Prelates of the Malwatu and Asgiri Chapters on Saturday
commended Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd (ANCL) Chairman Bandula
Padmakumara and the directors for their initiatives to develop the
institution which is one of the many over-staffed State institutions in
ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara paid
courtesy calls on the Mahanayaka Thera of the Malwatte
Chapter, Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala
Thera and (Right) offering Atapirikara to the Mahanayake
Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama Sri
Buddharakkitha Mahanayake Thera. Pictures by Gamini
"Often, State institutions which are expected to serve the public
break down due to a surplus of employees. This is the result of
arbitrary appointments given by politicians. Therefore, de-politicising
these institutions is essential to make them viable," they stated,
commending the Chairman and the Directors for taking steps to address
the issue of excess employees in a manner that benefits both the
employer and the employee.
The Chief Prelates expressed these views when the ANCL Chairman paid
them a visit to seek their blessings for the Voluntary Resignation
Scheme (VRS) to be implemented by the ANCL.
The Chief Prelates said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a honest
intention to develop State institutions by providing a better public
oriented service from such institutions. The moves taken by the ANCL
Chairman for the betterment of the institution will be a success. On
certain occasions, various unnecessary crisis situations are created
within the institution due to some moves taken by the trade unions to
gain their narrow political objectives.
The Chief Prelate of Malwathu Chapter Most Ven.Thibbotuwawe Sri
Siddhartha Sumangala Thera said the employee surplus of the CEB, CPC and
CTB had directly led to the collapse of such institutions. However
,Transport Minister Dullas Allhapperuma is acting with a lot of
dedication to rebuild the CTB.
" It is not a fact to be astonished about the collapse of any
institution if the monthly income of that particular institution is
insufficient to pay the salaries of its employees. The moves taken by
the ANCL to pay compensation to the employees under its VRS without
putting them under pressure to resign is something that is
The Chief Prelate of Asgiri Chapter Most Ven.Udugama Sri
Buddharakkitha Thera extended his blessings to the ANCL Chairman to
develop Lake House as an example to other institutions. It is a normal
fact that certain elements are angry when initiatives are taken to
develop the institution. The Chief Prelate also said "it is a great
pleasure to have a veteran journalist like Bandula Padmakumara as the
Chairman of the Lake House."
Most Ven.Buddharakkitha Mahanayaka Thera said we can't approve
certain actions taken by some trade unions without engaging in paper
marking of students to gain their trade union rights.
The longstanding teacher-student relationship is declining due to
these unruly acts of some trade unions. As a result, we hear about
teacher-student conflicts taking place in various schools. Teachers have
a great reputation within society. At present the reputation of teachers
has been undermined due to acts of some trade unions. The Thera asked
what is the trade union right that a teacher can win by putting students
into difficult situations. It is very important that the teachers act in
a way that sets examples to the students.
ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara told the Chief Prelates there is a
severe employee surplus at Lake House. In order to continue the
institution as a profit making one, the present total number of 3,200
employees should be reduced to 1,700 employees. After discussions with
the President, Prime Minister and the Media Minister, a VRS was
introduced to ANCL employees.
"Under this scheme, nearly 1,000 employees should be voluntary
retired. Nearly 600 employees have at present applied for the VRS.
We will not remove any employee by force. According to the VRS
compensation will be paid to each employee who retires under this
Under this scheme, an employee who has served Lake House for two
years will receive a minimum of Rs.800,000 as compensation. There are
some employees who will get Rs.3 million compensation based on their
service period. "
A sum of Rs.600 million has to be spent to pay to compensate the
employees. If 1,000 employees retire under this scheme, Lake House will
able to save Rs.500 million annually. In addition to the monthly salary,
several facilities have been given to Lake House employees including the
Cost of Living allowance, bonuses and insurance coverage. Out of the
total income earned by the Lake House, 70 per cent is given to its
Padmakumara said Lake House enders a yeoman service towards the
uplift of the country's religious and cultural sectors.
Lake House also publishes the Budusarana newspaper and Dinamina Vesak
magazine. Lake House also prints 50,000 newspapers free of charge to
mark the "Dalada Waruna" of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and will publish two
magazines in Sinhala and English in connection with the Kandy Esala
Perahera with effect from next year.
The ANCL Chairman also visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa.