|Wednesday, 28 July 2004|
by Manjula Fernando
The Committees appointed to inquire into political victimisation of public servants during the last regime are receiving a deluge of complaints.
"We have received over 250 petitions by employees under our ministry who say they were victimised for political reasons. Investigations into these complaints will commence shortly," said Public Administration and Home Affairs Deputy Minister Pandu Bandaranayake who is also the Committee's chairman said.
The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry under President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's direction recently obtained Cabinet approval to set up Political Victimisation Investigating Committees (PVICs) at ministerial level to investigate victimisations during the period from December 2001 to April 2004.
"The objective is to provide relief for public sector employees who lost jobs, sent on punishment transfers, denied promotions and who were victimised in various ways due to political reasons during the last regime," Minister Bandaranayake said. Subsequently, a circular accompanying instructions for implementation was issued to all Ministry Secretaries, Provincial Council Chief Secretaries, and Heads of Departments, public corporations, statutory boards and Government owned companies.
The Ministries are expected to entertain complaints for one month and provide relief in genuine cases, expeditiously. Each Committee should be chaired by the Deputy Minister of the relevant ministry and include two other members including a lawyer.
According to guidelines in the circular, the Committee must submit a report, with recommended relief for the complainants within three months to the minister for remedial action.
With regard to redress to employees of ministries and departments under their purview, the proposals will be directed to the Public Services Commission for implementation. Monetary compensations however, will be awarded after Cabinet endorsement, without consulting the PSC, the deputy minister said.
In the case of heads of departments and employees of public corporations, statutory boards and government owned companies, the recommendations of redress will be considered after Cabinet approval.
Recommendations in respect of the police officers will be channelled through the National Police Commission, excluding monetary compensation which will be made after Cabinet approval.
Produced by Lake House