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Citizens' Mail

Salary problems of government employees

Every day, there are protests or strikes related to salary problems. People are very worried about what is happening in government organisations. Very often public are harassed. They waste their time and money. There is mismanagement everywhere.

About 20 years back we had a very good salary structure. There were only a few circulars. Everything was very clear. There were no salary anomalies at that time. Even allowances were paid according to these circulars. There were no disputes.

But now the situation is quite different. There are salary anomalies everywhere. Payment of allowances is in a big mess. There is no system. There are grievances everywhere. All are telling the others are getting a higher salary and this is very unfair. When the salary of some group is increased, another group says it is wrong and demand that they also should be given a similar increase.

This has happened due to haphazard salary increases without properly studying. Without comparing. Without discussing with the relevant parties. Now there are a large number of circulars related to salaries. It has become a very complex problem.

Now the government should appoint a Special Salaries Commission to increase the public sector salaries and remove anomalies. This special salaries commission will pay its attention and make an in-depth study on the provisions of existing circulars dealing with payment of salaries and other allowances paid to the public sector employees and will make its recommendations to the government within in a specified period.

The government based on the recommendations of the salaries commission will introduce a new salary structure to increase the salaries of the entire public servants and to remove the reported anomalies that exist in certain government institutions.

This study should include all government departments, ministries, corporations, boards and institutions. All trade unions should be consulted. All parties should be allowed to make representations. Discussions should be held with all head of departments and organisations. Competent lawyers should be consulted. The advice of all professional organisations should be taken. Seminars should be arranged to educate the employees. Experts on salary administration should be consulted.

With the recommendation of this commission, a new salary circular should be issued. All previous old circulars should be cancelled. All should adhere to this circular.

Haphazard changes should not be allowed. Any salary increases after that should be done based on this new system. Any change should apply to all relevant grades of employees. We request all government employees and the government authorities to consider this proposal. This will avoid unnecessary strikes and the public will respect the government employees.

D. Weeratunga


Promoting tolerance and non-violence during the election eve

I happened to google and find out that the designated International Day of Tolerance by the UN is November 16, the scheduled day of our Presidential Elections!

The UN through UNESCO awards a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence named the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance and Non-Violence, November 16. The prize may be awarded to institutions, organisation or persons who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence

In the backdrop of the date for Presidential elections being declared as November 16, 2019, and the six-month anniversary of the Easter Sunday carnage coming up on 21/10/2019 and the mood for intolerance among ethnic groups and communities growing exponentially by the hour, we need to use this backdrop to convince all Presidential hopefuls of the need for bringing about tolerance among all of us by requesting them to consider including a pledge to create an environment and mechanism to foster tolerance in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore there will be parliament provincial council and local government elections also held in 2020. These elections have the potential to increase political and ethnic intolerance which could lead to ethnic political violence. This would be a further justification to ask the Presidential Candidates about their specific plans to deal with such a situation and get a public commitment from them to stamp out intolerance through declaring 2020 as a year of tolerance.

I think the citizens of Sri Lanka should be made aware that we are going to have our presidential elections on the international day of Tolerance and Non-Violence

Dr. Ruvaiz Haniffa


Whither the Grand Old Party?

The UNP has yet to decide on a candidate to be fielded at the next Presidential Election, which has now been fixed for November 16. While two parties, SLPP and JVP, have already named their candidates and vigorously campaigning commenced, UNP is in a dog fight to select one.

Sajith Premadasa, Deputy Leader of the UNP has on his own carried out a massive popular effective campaign so far. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP Leader appears to support Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, while the members of the party, the majority of them support Sajith Premadasa. Looking back, most of the present Opposition members were UNPers who crossed over in disgust. Bandula Gunawardena, Dayasiri Jayasekera and Yapa Abeygunawardena are among them.

Going back further to the history of UNP, a similar situation arose when SWRD was deprived of being a successor to Prime Minister DS Senanayake. He set General Sir John Lionel Kotelawala against SWRD to appoint Dudley Senanayake, his son, as successor. The result was SWRD crossed over and formed a separate party called SLFP. Isn’t that what is to happen now, as the news goes Sajith Premadasa is to form another party?

This is a national calamity due to stubbornness of old cronies such as Gamini Perera, John Amerathunga to nominate Karu Jayasuriya or Ranil Wickremesinghe to come forward. The same situation arose when JR Jayewardene’s term officially ended. There was a tussle as to who should succeed – Athulathmudali or Gamini Dissanayaka but Ranasinghe Premadasa worked up to be popular with his Gamudawa and Mobile Office programmes and had the support of rural masses.

Wise JRJ, knowing if Ranasinghe Premadasa is not nominated he would form another party and UNP will face doom, nominated Premadasa. He won comfortably. Isn’t this the same tactics played by his son Sajith? Like father like son. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should take the same stand as JRJ if the UNP is to survive.

The Sinhala Buddhists are now divided into three political parties UNP, SLFP and the breakaway party of SLFP, the SLPP headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa. If the ongoing debate in UNP whom to be nominated and if the popular candidate Sajith Premadasa is not given the opportunity, there will be another split in Sinhala Buddhist votes which will bring political instability in the country, giving rise to minority ethnic groups making demands detrimental to national unity.

Under these circumstances, what we need is a strong ruler who would steer this country to socio-economic development for prosperity and peace.

Who could or should be that person?

Is he yet to spring up from nowhere at the last moment?

Let us cross our fingers and wait.


G.A.D. Sirimal
Via e-mail


Smart alert for smart users

Any type of equipment has safety precaution to prevent and avoid dangers. Alert is not a danger alarm or bell but it is only for our safety. This means we must always have to be familiar with all electrical appliances.

We mostly use cell phones for our fun and time passing. However, some people use it for their essential purposes. The popularity of the smart devices has become an essential component among the youths. These modern phones clear the path to both physical and mental issues. The mental depression, or nomophobia, disables the man.

The smart device subscribers keep on increasing owing to the advertisements. The readily available convenience offers some pleasure and satisfaction. The researchers, however, maintain that many youths neglect the danger of the smartphones.

Mobile phones are available everywhere. Everyone uses one or two more than their strength. Interestingly, these smart devices are available for a song too. The global market issues millions of smart devices. The parents, in turn, make purchase and let their children use it too. They are clueless about the effects and dangers.

Researchers have recently found out that the addiction to the smart devices takes a heavy toll on memory and education. Social media-related apps is the lure. Suffering, stemming from the addiction, has now become the new norm. Worse, several youths are reported to have died while capturing themselves on the selfie – which is an unnecessary move.

The crave for the smartphones leads other complications as well. Scientists have found symptoms such as emotions of panic, illusion and mania among youths. They find it difficult to sleep as they cannot stay away from the smartphone.

Added to the vibration and ringtones which affect the physical health, unlimited phone conversations disturb the human body’s natural pattern. Continuously checking devices for notifications challenges our ability to work for sustained periods of time. It destroys the usual activities. Apparently, the time, once considered golden, has now been binned.

The use of the internet is an instant programme that takes you in another world. This convenient habit of using smartphone makes men and women to hell. These dangerous facts should be considered in their mind.

The difference between smart and other devices is that the former come with more negative consequences than positive. However, I recommend a few suggestions to minimalise the danger.

Restrict the smartphone time.

Monitor the cell phone now and then.

Go for a specification and alternation.

Keep away your device and spend with your family.

Switch off when you are in important purpose and duties.

Concentrate on the essential needs of your family.

Be on alert about the dangerous areas (railway tracks and pedestrian crossings).

Focus on the productive work or creative life and income

Keep the phone in silent mode when you are on duty.


R. Shathurshana
Eastern University




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