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Monday, 12 March 2012

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Sri Lanka cricket team fields and plays well

Sri Lanka's cricket team played well and did Sri Lanka proud under the leadership of Mahela Jayawardena.

All played so well and fielded with gusto and brought about serveral amazing stops and took some equally amazing catches.

I for one am pleased as punch with what I saw, and I must say that there is still room for the use of some innovative ways that will ensure we beat any team under any circumstances if only I can communicate it to the person responsible for charting the path at SLC for the future of cricket and for Sri Lanka to win the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia without being placed under pressure as they were chasing a total we all thought was within their reach.


Corrupt promotion in Sri Lanka Post

He is a postmaster trade unionist, the secretary of a once prestigious trade union, which has not held the annual general meeting of the union for the last five years or so and who is on release for full time trade union work since 28.11.2004. This postmaster trade unionist sat the departmental limited competitive examination for the selection of Postal Accounts Examiners on 23.8.2008. He was found to have passed the exam (some jokingly say that it was a sms pass though I disagree), and was appointed to the post of Postal Accounts Examiner post (a supra grade post) – from 18.8.2008 – a back-dated appointment.

He reported for training as Postal Accounts Examiner for only one day, but did not work as a Postal Accounts Examiner even for a single day (whether the individual or the administration concluded that he did not fit into the post could only be ascertained by an investigation in that regard), and he continued to be on release for full time trade union work.

Despite his not assuming duties as Postal Accounts Examiner he was permitted to appear before a promotion board in September/October 2010 for promotion to the next higher grade - Assistant Superintendent, a staff grade post. The promotion board did not find him suitable for promotion to the next higher grade and as such he was not promoted to the next higher grade However the promotions recommended by the promotion board were not given effect to.

Another promotion board to ‘revise’ the recommendations of the 2010 promotion board was appointed on 23.3.2011.

This board held that the trade unionist had obtained ‘Excellent’ confidential reports for 2008 and 2009 not found or considered by the previous board, and recommended the trade unionist for promotion giving him top billing.

The irony is that despite the trade unionist not having served as a Postal Accounts Examiner in a practical sense (which should have been considered as a minus point) it appears that the two invalid confidential reports had been considered to give him a top-billing promotion. On the other hand though the the trade unionist has not served as a Postal Accounts Examiner in the southern division in 2008 and 2009 the two confidential reports that surfaced had been issued by two Divisional Superintendents and a Deputy Postmaster General in the southern division. In fact the confidential reports have to be issued by the immediate superiors under whom the officers work, which means that the confidential reports of the trade unionist were invalid.

The manipulation gains notoriety (transparently so) by the fact that the trade unionist had not worked under the two Divisional Superintendents and the Deputy Postmaster General in 2008 and 2009 while the confidential report for 2009 had been signed by the Deputy Postmaster General who retired from the service from 30.7.2009 under the date 20.11.2009 - 4 months after he retired and 2 months before the due date for the issue of confidential reports – January 2010. The confidential reports have to be filled and signed in January every year as the performance upto the end of December has to be evaluated in making the observations and recommendations.

The incompetency, manipulation, incorrect procedures, and favouritism that seem apparent in this case need to be investigated into with a view to taking disciplinary action against those guilty.

It is desired that efficiency, discipline, honesty and integrity should be maintained and favouritism stemmed in the Sri Lanka Post. I am also of the view that the investigation report in regard to this case should be made available to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration to be made used as a case study for training of public servants – how not to indulge in maladministration.


Tamil citizens antipathy a salutary effect

I refer to the news item in the Daily News of 29th February, captioned Northern Tamils declare antipathy to US-backed resolution and over 5,000 Tamil people marching and handing over a petition to the UNHRC Advisor in Sri Lanka Cynthia Veliko, and copying this petition to the High Commissioners of those countries spearheading this resolution stating that they do not want foreign countries to ‘invent solutions’ for their problems.

This demonstration by the Tamil citizens living in the North would have a salutary effect in awakening them to the fact that the accusations against our valiant security forces and President Mahinda Rajapaksa are inventions by those 'Big Powers' who were hoping to use terrorism in Sri Lanka to get a foot in the Sri Lanka door, to control the shipping routes and to exploit the possibility of finding oil, and certainly not because of any human kindness for the welfare of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.

Tamil people in the North know well with what fear they had been living with their children being threatened of abduction to be condemned as cannon fodder. Today they are enjoying the fundamental Human Right of being able to live without fear, and showing their gratitude to the security forces and the President, by demonstrating their solidarity and demanding foreigners to get their paws off Sri Lanka.

For the benefit of all those countries that have ganged up to humiliate our country, I would like to quote from a speech of Foreign Minister late Lakshman Kadirgamar at the First Democracies Community Ministerial Meeting in Warsaw, Poland in June 2000. What he said then is even valid today and we could learn some valuable lessons particularly because he was also a Tamil gentleman. Due to constraints of space I will quote only the relevant portions.

“In 1931 an epoch making event occurred when our people received universal adult franchise. Thereafter, a National State Assembly was established.

A full blown party system emerged. We have always had a strong Bar and an independent judiciary. In 1948 our Parliament was established. We have today in our constitution, justiciable human rights enshrined. Sri Lanka may be described a vibrant participating democracy. But today where do we stand? Our precious democracy is in grave peril.

We are under siege, we are under sustained assault by a fascist terrorist group that is bent on carving out in the North and East of our country a separate State. They want to convert the multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious society which we have enjoyed for many centuries into a narrow mono-ethnic, mono-linguistic State.

The methods that this group employ have demonstrated a capacity of unmatched savagery and brutality.

They use conscripted child soldiers in battle. Ladies and Gentlemen in Geneva, please take note that it is this ‘unmatched savagery’ that our security forces has defeated and annihilated so that we all could live in peace.”

The late Minister continues “Most unfortunately, many of the supporters of this terrorist group make their living by the hundreds by the thousands in the hospitable, generous tolerant democratic societies of many of the Western countries. They are masters of using the laws of asylum to their advantage.

“They gather funds using spurious front organization who fuel the war chest of the despotic leader of this terrorist group.”

He concludes “My plea is, please do not forget that unless the democracies in the world decide to stand together and fight together and always come to the aid of a member in peril, democracy will not survive.”

The advice of this highly respected gentleman throughout the world, should guide the countries now deliberating in Geneva, to live in peace protecting each other from ruthless terrorism.

It is very unfortunate that he is not living today to witness all our people now living in peace, enjoying the most essential human right of living without fear, and as members of one family. This great gentleman was assassinated by these very ruthless terrorists in his own home.


Increase to 3% senior citizens’ bank interest rates

The retiring age for public sector employees, including those who work in corporations, boards, authorities, and statutory organisations, is between 57 and 60 years while it is between 55 and 60 years for employees in the private sector.

Public servants are eligible to a pension scheme and draw monthly pensions to meet their expenses.

Employees in the private sector and corporation sector invest their terminal benefits in part, in order to receive some monthly interest payment.

After sixty years of age most retirees are not physically fit to work. Most organizations do not offer them jobs at this stage.

It is a fact that elderly people are weak but they also have a right to live until they die. Elderly persons should not be neglected. We must treat them as they treated us, when we were helpless babies on earth.

Every citizen knows that the cost of living is unbearable. Senior citizens, especially those who are not entitled to a pension and who have invested part of their terminal benefits are constantly struggling to live. They get only an additional 1% interest for their bank deposits.

It is most surprising that when banks continue to make enhanced profits, they still pay reduced interest rates to customers.

Taking into consideration the foregoing facts I wish to request the President who is also the Finance Minister, and the Finance Ministry secretary, as well as the Central Bank Governor and other relevant authorities concerned to intervene into this matter and ensure that the prevailing additional interest rate for senior citizens is increased from 1% to 3% in banks/finance companies which have received Central Bank approval, to give a helping hand to the senior citizens to live peacefully in their last stages of life.

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