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My Dear Pillayan

by A.M. Mukthar

(June 18, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Eastern Provincial Council was established by President Mahinda Rajapakse with the intention of entrusting the administration of the province to the people of the Eastern Province irrespective of race, religion or caste. This was established at the expense of many innocent lives from the Eastern Province and incurring quite a lot of government expenditure.

The question arises whether the vision of the President will become a reality by retaining officers from the north in key positions such as secretaries or ministries and provincial heads of departments, entrusting them with the responsibilities relating to the development of the province. Going through past experience the answer is definitely ‘No.’

These officers are developing themselves. This is like bottling the same drink with a different trade label.

I would like to ask you whether the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee do not have senior officers belonging to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service and other services to head these ministries or departments? There are a sufficient number of qualified officers to take over these duties. But the northerners are clinging on to you like parasites and do not allow room for such changes.

Some of them will manipulate to retain their positions, even getting re-employment for years till they die, creating an image that they are indispensable. You will accept that nobody in this world is indispensable .

You cannot deny the fact that separating the administration of the Eastern Province from the Northern Province following a mandate given to the government by the people of Eastern Province at the provincial council elections is purely due to the step-motherly treatment, selfishness, antagonism, revengefulness, negative attitude and harassment shown to the people of the east during the administration of the North-Eastern Province by the administrators from the north.

A survey done of the manpower at the administrative level in the Northeast Provincial Council from its inception will reveal that not even 10% of the administrative posts were given to the officers from the east. Officers from the north manipulated and brought their kith and kin from the north and even filled the vacancies in the minor grades as well and subsequently promoted them to the higher grades.

This fact will be confirmed if the birthplace of all employees appointed to government departments under the authority of the Northeast Provincial Council after its establishment and up to the separation of these two provinces is analysed.

Can you name at least one or two officers from the east appointed to the Northern Provincial Council as ministry secretaries or provincial heads of departments? Why should it be so?

This is a serious problem and needs corrective action immediately. Therefore please give consideration to appointing offices from the east as ministry secretaries, provincial heads of departments and other key positions, thereby strengthening the provincial administration so that the era of easterners being ‘ruled’ by the northerners will change and easterners are given the chance to rule the province. Then only will the vision of the President become a reality.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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