Sajith accuses government of arbitrarily ending services of employees recruited by previous dispensation

Sajith Premadasa

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on Friday alleged that the government had arbitrarily ended the services of employees recruited by the previous government to the state sector and those recruited for full time training.

Making a special statement in Parliament, Premadasa said that the President had presented the government’s policy statement on August 20th under the theme ‘One country – One law’, but accused the government of committing serious injustice.

“Around 6800 project assistant officers were recruited by the previous government as per a Cabinet decision on a full time training basis and they had reported for duty at the respective District Secretariats prior to the Presidential elections. However, based on a directive issued by the Election Commission, their appointments were temporarily suspended until the presidential election concluded”, he said

However, now it’s been nine months since the presidential election concluded, but these recruits have yet not been called for service, Premadasa added.

He said that based on a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting held on September 17, 2019, those recruited under temporary, Casual, Substitute, Contract or relief basis to the Public Service, Provincial Public Service, Public Corporations and Statutory Boards by Public Administration Circular No. 29/2019 issued in accordance with the Cabinet Meeting recommended to confirm the Management Assistants and Primary Grade Officers who were recruited on the basis of having completed more than 180 consecutive days of satisfactory service as at 01st September, 2019, this process was temporarily suspended based on the Election Commission directive.

“As a former Housing Minister, it has been brought to my notice that many employees of the Housing Development Authority are unfairly treated”, he said.

The Opposition Leader said that employees recruited to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, National Housing Development Authority, school health assistants recruited through the Ministry of Education, archeological workers, field mosquito control assistants recruited to the Ministry of Health, Samurdhi Bank and computer assistants and electrical maintenance assistants recruited to the Wildlife Department had been arbitrarily terminated as of now.

“Specifically, the termination of appointments after the government has issued an appointment letter and called for service is a grave injustice. Many of those who have been appointed have left their jobs in the private sector in anticipation of receiving government jobs, but now have to face the cancellation of their government appointments leaving them in a dire predicament, he further said.

It is normal for political parties elected to government to change periodically, but the cancellation of government appointments given by the previous government after elections is also a very wrong precedent. I look forward to the Government’s response and explanation to the following questions regarding this gross injustice,” Premadasa noted.

He asked the government “if it admits that a grave injustice has been committed towards these appointees due to the government arbitrarily terminating their appointments, if the government intends to rectify this issue or if not why?”

(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)