14 July, 2020

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Strengthening Public Service After Presidential Reprimands

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s meeting with top staff of the Central Bank has had a mixed reception. The president admonished the Central Bank for not being adequately supportive of government policy with regard to reviving the economy. In a strongly worded speech the president demonstrated knowledge of the economic performance of other countries. He compared the assistance given by governments such as in the United States and Europe to businesses to revive the economy with facts and figures and said that the Central Bank should act accordingly. There is a need for a policy planning group drawn from the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, private sector and civil society to sit together with the president to map out the future direction of the country. In doing so there is also a need to be mindful that all elements of the economy are interconnected with one another, and the larger society also.

From the beginning of his term of office, the president has been showing a strong desire to make a difference in the way the government functions. This may be the reason for some of the high level appointments he has made of former and present security forces personnel to positions in the civil administration. He also began to pay surprise visits to government departments to ascertain for himself the state of affairs and how they were serving the general public. When he found that they were not functioning in a manner that was effective and efficient he pointed this out and issued strictures to improve themselves. Recently following a meeting with staff from the prisons department in his office, he removed the prisons commissioner and replaced him with another from the same department.

These actions of President Rajapaksa have indicated to the general public that he is serious about making a change in the country. These actions by the president have been well received going by public opinion, as they all collectively blame the government systems for the situation they are in. Government departments have a poor reputation for being overstaffed and where the staff bring out the rule book to thwart those who come to them from getting either a benefit they are entitled to or solving a problem. It is the unfortunate experience of many that some form of gratification is needed to get the task accomplished.

Change System 

In this context President Rajapaksa’s admonitions to government departments and officials will be viewed favourably by the electorate when it comes to the forthcoming general elections. This will be to the benefit of the candidates of the ruling party and to the majority that the government hopes to obtain. However, the president’s intention would also be to make a longer term impact on the future of the country. This can best come by a change of system, being mindful of how one thing interconnects with another, and not only by pushing the existing system to deliver better results without paying heed to its present limitations.

In two recent instances, the president’s cracking of the whip has borne immediate changes. The new prisons commissioner has successfully launched a search and seizure operation in the prisons that netted a harvest of mobile phones that had been held illicitly by prisoners. One of the factors that precipitated the president’s intervention into the prison system was reports that prisoners were utilising their mobile phones to continue to lead crime syndicates outside. However, phones that have been confiscated in the past have invariably made a reappearance later.

Following the public admonition of the Central Bank management, the bank immediately came up with a response to kick start the economy. They reduced the Statutory Reserve Ratio which has given banks more flexibility in lending to people to either start new businesses or to prop up existing ones by taking more loans. However, with international markets shrinking, and the possibility that those who take loans will not use the additional funds effectively, success is not guaranteed. It is important that the money is lent to those who can make good use of it and not due to political pressure.

Independent Institutions 

The common factor that links the two institutions most recently addressed by the president is that they are vulnerable to political pressure. This is the common factor in society as a whole. The power of these vested interests, and the threat they can pose, may explain the president’s reliance on the security forces personnel to take forward his vision. The drug lords who operate from within the confines of prisons have, in the past, been shown to be in league with politicians. On one occasion an entire container load of drugs was found in the harbour and apparently approved by a government ministry. But investigations into that case did not appear to progress.

The nexus between corruption that involved state institutions and politicians was once again highlighted in the Central Bank bond scam under the previous government. President Rajapaksa referred to this in his comments to the Central Bank management whom he recently addressed. During the investigations into that case, evidence also emerged that similar practices had taken place previously under successive governments. The foremost task for those who seek more efficient and problem solving governance in the country is to break the hold that politicians have over the public service to do their bidding even at the cost to the country as a whole.

The rot that set in terms of the overpoliticisation of the public service got a boost with the 1972 constitution. This sought to give elected politicians control over the economy with laudable aim of democratising the economy. This was in line with the socialist dogmas that prevailed at that time. The 1972 constitution deliberately weakened the public service and judiciary and made them subservient to the political authority. One of the most significant changes was to change the position of the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry whereby the Secretary to the Ministry could be changed with every change of government. The regular use of this practice has led to a loss of continuity. An effective and problem solving system of governance needs more independent institutions and the rule of law that continues beyond the government in power.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    2

    The President is requesting to revive the economy with facts and figures and said that the Central Bank should act accordingly, Nothing so weakens a government as inflation.Also the president presentation also hints the finance manager for , Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress.which is back wards

    • 8
      1

      Strengthening the quality of the public service can only be made by holding on to the law and order. This should be exemplary by political leadership. Do not tell others how to act unless you can set a good example.

      My grannies and those times they never respected rascals and uncultured bastards. That was also in our country. nowhere else. Those days, police and other public service entities were held above… and they earned respect and dignity. This was also the case under CBK to some extent, since then, Beliaththa rascals, implemented, their brutalities to the core.

      http://www.read.gov/aesop/034.html

      Even prisoners and their prison authorities would CROSS question, ” who do you think you are to ask us to behave properly, while you the alleged high criminals came to power to bury your court cases” ? By that question,
      :
      Gotabaya will have to be silent
      Mahinda- God father of all high crimes and its promotion -will have to be silent
      Namal – Bastard son -will have to be silent
      ROhitha- Bstard son -will have to be silent

      Basil the man abusive in that first generation who looted again millions through 5000-bucks distribution -will have to be silent

      • 3
        0

        The problem is, people are suspicious about President’s ability to work independently. He came to power claiming, he will have educated (Viyath), and non corrupt new faces around him. Now see the same old corrupt SLPP rogues are around him, Where are the “Viyath”people. One of his appointee ‘Viyath”lady, the ENT doctor,while enjoying the Governor’s benefits she was doing private practice. How can people trust GR? Maybe he wants to do something right, but his ankles are chained with leg cuffs by brother MR. GR himself admitted that he could not even stop the Royal Thomian big match, how can he stop corruption in MR party. He started running around DMV office, grocery stores like Kakille Rajjuruwo, thinking he can win hearts and souls of people. Those are old tricks played by many politicians before him. Only thing he will be able to do is, to dance according to MR tune until Namal gets qualified to run for presidency, no matter whether he gets 2/3 or not. Also people have not forgotten about his past as Secretary Defence, such as abusing public funds, making journalist disappear, shooting in daylight, white vans etc. Voters should be smart to have a strong opposition.

      • 1
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        leelagemalli1!

        If, as you say, criminals have come into power, those who elected them to power should be considered the worst criminals for aiding and abetting.

    • 7
      0

      Can an uncivilized teacher become the head master of a popular school ?

      Of courseYes in Srilanken Context where the majority are the thanakola eaters, in high volumes, everything is possible. Not long ago, current defence secretary was known to the nation as one of the brutal men, that would not have hearts when treaing the pupils of a school, that was believed to be his own property. But he became finally the defence secretary ……. the kind fo appointment can be valid also in tribal africa.
      :
      And the man who is released on bai for high level financial grabs/losses/loot, is the president’ssecetary… ha ha.. where on earth.. the kind of secretaries would do it better ?

      Wimal Buruwanse – most known condom support of Rajaakshe family- would wash dirty linen of anyone since the bugger from his education is a school drop out… and being abused by Rajapakshe clan for political scapegoating. The kind of men should be HUNG by balls, if young generations be blessed with exemples for their way foward.

    • 6
      0

      You can expect LION to take a lead where donkeys are the majority.

      That is what I think would most match with the ground situation in my home country.

      People would stay ” yes sir, ,thank you sir, we respect you sir “, but not a single person of the men bearing this mind set would see it beyond.

      So called – SIR was caught by the MEDAMULANA Monument building court case – and his response was, ” I paid those sums now and it should be okay… even if that was paid by his MAFIA BOSS BROTHER – the sum going beyond 30 million of tax payers funds.

      Slaves stay mum, but we cant. So, I dont think anything would improve from the highly corrupted state to progress so long Rajapakshe are OUT of srilanken politics.

      The chain question would be, WHY Rajapskehs was not tamed by LAW AND ORDER but others even a far poor man stole a ” polgediya” was arrested and lockedup for that negligible crime, while Rajapkshe even if instigated HUMAN LIFE LOSSes stay scot free…. is that because SRILANKA is their own property ?

      • 4
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        It should be YOU can NOT expect.. thanks .

    • 3
      1

      Just view the VIDEO below.
      :
      See is there any difference between SIRISENA de JOKERs rule and Nandasena (former petrol shed assitant in the US) today ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTpih8wTy_Y

      How would 69 MILLIONS of Polburuwas feel today ? Can they wear the same and stand before the people today ? Or they should not go out of MEDAMULANA territories ?

    • 2
      1

      Whose actions caused the inflation ?

      As any tribal leader was caught by CHINESE SO CALLED INVESTMENT INJECTION, srilanken born, most stupid man in srilanken politics, none other than Mahinda Rajaakshes too was caught by CHINESE triks and made this country and nation -chinese debt trap number 01

      The thicked their pockets also filled it of this men and built up a country of thieves than any good people. How could this be possible ?.. the name of SO CALLED WAR VICTORY…. was highly intrumental for the manipulation of the masses.

    • 3
      0

      The problem is, people are suspicious about President’s ability to work independently. He came to power claiming, he will have educated (Viyath), and non corrupt new faces around him. Now see the same old corrupt SLPP rogues are around him, Where are the “Viyath”people. One of his appointee ‘Viyath”lady, the ENT doctor,while enjoying the Governor’s benefits she was doing private practice. How can people trust GR? Maybe he wants to do something right, but his ankles are chained with leg cuffs by brother MR. GR himself admitted that he could not even stop the Royal Thomian big match, how can he stop corruption in MR party. He started running around DMV office, grocery stores like Kakille Rajjuruwo, thinking he can win hearts and souls of people. Those are old tricks played by many politicians before him. Only thing he will be able to do is, to dance according to MR tune until Namal gets qualified to run for presidency, no matter whether he gets 2/3 or not. Also people have not forgotten about his past as Secretary Defence, such as abusing public funds, making journalist disappear, shooting in daylight, white vans etc. Voters should be smart to have a strong opposition.

  • 6
    3

    Give me a staff of honor for mine age,
    But not a sceptre to control the world.
    – TITUS ANDRONICUS
    – Rome. Before the Capitol.
    – William Shakespeare.

    • 4
      2

      SCP, (I decided to address genderless from today on)!

      if you ever went to a school, please tell us – how were your teachers ?

      Were they then alledged high criminalS for any kind of crimes ?

      Mr Sinhala man would definitely add lot more good about the disipline of the school going children those days and how they respect their own teachers, parents and religious monks/leaders. And how undergraduates behaved themselves. No such accidents of the injured JAYAWARDHANA PURA student was ever heard. As of today, things have turned out to be far from those qualities – the reasons may well be the politicians and their abusive performance on the stage. How could all these have happened if SRILANKENS improved their systems ?
      .
      I was once very upset, hearing the wording of cururent PM (Mahinda Rajapakshe – He went on boasting that he did it 3 times, and brought the results – 3 sons to his family, while Ranil failed, not even coconut pluckers in my days would have spoken that way, nor in public at all) … on the public stage. He is the god father of almost any crimes elevated to the levels today. The filthy public langauge was introduced by him and then his CONDOM support – school drop out Wimal Buruwanse.

    • 1
      0

      See how an idiot with nothing to do, and writing under 1000 bogus names tries to display his erudition!
      /
      He apparently has ‘studied’ at Harvard (obviously no degree!)
      /
      Ask your erudite father (and/but) to write something for you, Dayan is waiting.

      • 2
        1

        Dayan Jayathilaka (is the dummy of SCHOOL drop out Wimal Buruwanse) is backto srilanken from Russia.

        For some reasons, he has not started to wash the dirty linens of Rajaakshes yet. I have no idea why ?
        .
        May be DJ cant decide between SJB and SLPP (Horunge Sangamaya) ?

  • 11
    1

    “During the investigations into that case, evidence also emerged that similar practices had taken place previously under successive governments.”
    People think that it is not only the Government departments are inefficient it is the political system including his own that was politicised and corrupted under previous successive governments. He still continue with the same people as ministers in his cabinet including prime minister from the same family. The government departments are inefficient because it is only one family that controlled the 95% of the country. He cannot stop those Monks who continued to violate principle of religion and he himself misused his power to release a convicyed murderer because he is Buddhist Sinhala and a military.

  • 10
    2

    CT has finally published an article which is not biased against government. As a leader of the goverment, president need some power and authority to remove and appoint public servants with the approval of public service commission. By appointing military figures he probably expecting that they can be less influenced by corrupt politician of PM and his cronies.
    19A correctly re-establish constitutional , police and judicial service commissions but wrongly curtailed the presidential power. These commissions are headache to the currant rulers as they can’t appoint their political friend of judges, policemen and public servants. There should be laws and procedures to safeguards positions of public servants who act for the country defying selfish motives of politicians.
    After all you can’t have public servants who will come late to work , had long break and drink at work and has attitude towards the pubic coming to get service. System should change to complete the service in one attendance by a general public without wasting their time.
    Ruling party should not get 2/3 majority unless they pledge to continue independent commissions for judiciary, police, audit department and public service .

    • 6
      0

      Jack,
      He has the power to remove the Finance minister. What is the delay?

      • 0
        0

        Prime Minister decides who is going to the be Fiance Minister and President only confirms that. It is the 19A. It didn’t work for Ranil(at least Ranil managed well to land all the sins of the crimes on the head of the poor Grama severga). It is working well now.

  • 1
    2

    We…..
    As a society,
    Sometimes tends to mix the task of the politician with the duty of the bureaucrat.
    .
    I general terms…..
    .
    A politician – is a representative of the society who must know ins and outs of the general public requirements.
    .
    A Public Servant – is the man who must know law and order of the things to be done.
    .
    Public Service is the VEHICLE driven by POLITICIAN as a driver.
    We are the passengers.

    • 1
      0

      Sinkala Pasquali,

      A politician – is a representative of the society who must know ins and outs of the general public requirements.
      .
      A Public Servant – is the man who must know law and order of the things to be done.

      *** You are damn right man.

      Politicians Ons & Outs

      Public SErvant: Who decides the order in which food is dished out.

      Gothas poor subjects : All they know and have seen is backside of the man infront in the long ” QUEUE”

      .

  • 4
    0

    This sad sorry nation ever since the 16th November 2019 has by 6.9 million racist fools is now being autocratically ruled by an uncontrolled sexual deviant of a dominatrix whose reputation as a shark rearing war crime committed exponent who takes sadistic pleasure in treating the population as his tiny kid slaves.
    =
    Ever since 1956, the government service has been manned by those who are only not even proficient in their so-called Yakko dialect and are being selected for employment due to their support to the political party of the day.
    =
    The colonial masters in their wisdom ascertained that especially the members of the minority Tamil community were best suited for the government sector billets made the most appropriate correct choice of recruiting blend and mix to run the nation ticking to an accurate clock system.
    =
    What this beleaguered by the Yaks needs is to bring back the mighty English dialect as its main four of communication.
    Sinhala along with Tamil lingoes should be made the alternate choices for emotional, historical and sentimental reasons.
    Those who have affiliations with the military and those with the blood of the innocents on their hands should have to be sent to a no favour bearing military court-martial and if found guilty they will have to be punished as according to the crime.

  • 2
    0

    ” Government departments have a poor reputation for being overstaffed and where the staff bring out the rule book to thwart those who come to them from getting either a benefit they are entitled to or solving a problem. It is the unfortunate experience of many that some form of gratification is needed to get the task accomplished.”

    Well said, Mr.Jegan Perera. A true statement as regards the Department of Pensions. Stipulating new conditions at frequent intervals during the past few years for drawing pensions to the pensioners domiciled in foreign countries, sudden stoppage of their pension without any valid reasons, non payment of pension increases granted by the Government in 1995 and 1999, failure to take action on written representations or reply letters, interference in collusion with the banks for pensioners to transfer their pension money to their relations and friends and social activities, are recent actions by the Department. But pensioners who personally visit the Department are able to get their problems solved. How?

    Vela

  • 2
    0

    One of the promises Gotabaya gave was to increase the salary of estate workers to
    Rs 1,000 a day. He has not done that. However, he has the money to give promotions to hundreds of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police officers. How come he has the money to give promotions and pay these officers additional wages and benefits when he cannot help the poor estate workers who are one of the most important working groups who bring foreign earnings into the country? He even funds Buddhist temples. How honest is President Gotabaya? Even a poor estate worker cannot trust him as he has not kept his word to them.

    • 2
      2

      Mr. Buddhist1,
      .
      I am still waiting in my village for your “English Speaking” “Colombo Elite” to come and “Educate” us.

    • 1
      2

      http://www.ft.lk/columns/Gotabaya-Rajapaksa-Manifesto-A-critique/4-688591

      Quote
      Not just that wage hike for the plantation workers . they made lot more promises… though they now behave as if they did not utter anything

      Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa discusses his manifesto with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at its launch on Friday

      A ‘Charter of Election Promises Honesty’ is necessary for all
      Given targets and promises are contradictory
      Free fertiliser would increase expenditure by Rs. 45 b
      VAT reduction from 15% to 8% would reduce revenue by Rs. 425 b
      Scrapping PAYE is most illogical and harmful; consequences drastic
      On false promises intends to win; on security state intends to control
      Unquote

  • 1
    1

    President Gotabaya will find in the end that reprimands and threats are counterproductive.

    It may work in the short run it returns to be corrupt, lethargic, sluggish and disappointing to the public.

    One person will not make it different.The entire public service need to be revamped

    The Public Service had become complex or made complex and the expected output from service delivery will rarely be satisfying to the receiver.

    Each organization is different and modern management techniques could work.

    Nowadays the concept of emotional intelligence EI and EI competencies are receiving notice in many successful organizations,

    Unlike IQ, EI could be learnt and therefore could be successfully put into operation.
    Anyhow,I do not like to sound pessimistic, but what the President attempts had already been proved ineffective..

    Is it necessary to reinvent the wheel? at what cost?

  • 1
    0

    President Rajapakse may have good intentions but how can he run a clean government when he has all dirty rotten ministers against who there are so many cases pending in courts with charges which are pending for a long time due to political pressure.during his future period after election if he appoint the flowing guys as ministers how can he run a clean government?
    1)WIMAL WEERWANSE
    2)UDAYA GAMANPULLE
    3)MAHINDANANDA
    4)PRASANA RANATHUNGA
    5)ROHITHA ABEYAGONAWARDENA
    6)THILANAKA SUMATHIPALA
    7)NIMAL LANSE
    8)ANURUTHIKA FERNANDO
    THEY NEED ALL THESE GUYS WITH BIG MOUTH AND ILL GOTTEN MONEY TO CHEAT POOR VOTERS AND WIN ELECTIONS.FURTHER MORE ALL THESE GUYS ARE IN THE POCKET OF MAHINDA AND WELL PROTECTED BY HIM AGAINST ALL ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.CAN GOTHAPAYA GO AGAINST HIS BIG BROTHER IN ORDER TO HAVE A GOVERNMENT HE WISHES ON HIS OWN WAY WITH THE SUPPORT OF TRY FORCES.THIS IS A DAY DREAM AND WILL NEVER TAKE PLACE IN SRILANAKA.

    • 1
      2

      All these men have much in common.. top of them.
      .

      1)WIMAL WEERWANSE – on bail for his court cases
      2)UDAYA GAMANPULLE – on bail for his court cases
      3)MAHINDANANDA – on bail for his court cases
      4)PRASANA RANATHUNGA – on bail for his court cases
      5)ROHITHA ABEYAGONAWARDENA – on bail for his court cases
      6)THILANAKA SUMATHIPALA – on bail for his court cases
      7)NIMAL LANSE – on bail for his court cases
      8)ANURUTHIKA FERNANDO – on bail for his court cases

  • 1
    0

    It is disturbing to see the present plight of the country looming with uncertainties and people are perplexed with dark gloomy future ahead of us after the end of the general election. Though people are somewhat confident with the president but not certainly not with his political confidants of their past records. Even aftermath of the war victory in 2009 President Mahinda Rajapakse had absolute majority and support to put the country in order which he couldn’t do it but his bother Gotabaya Rajapakse then Defense Secretary carried out road infrastructure and beautified Colombo. Thereafter Yahapalanaya government came to power with President Maithripala and Ranil Wickremesinghe were entrusted with the herculean task to fix the rot which they worsened the situation. We can at least witness the keenness of President Gotabaya to put house in order in style. Unfortunately his team of ministers and the public servants seem not up to the expectation. We are in a situation of do or die to salvage our country from the perilous situation we are in.

  • 2
    0

    Jehan

    Strengthening Public Service After Presidential Reprimands

    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s meeting with top staff of the Central Bank has had a mixed reception. The president admonished the Central Bank for not being adequately supportive of government policy with regard to reviving the economy.

    *** Frankly nothing is going to happen under a man who is under a cloud of Criminality in the eyes of the World with whom the World wont engage.. Let us look at the evidence. According to CBK Sri Lanka needed $8000 Million soon after the lockdown. US gave $1 million and that was about it. IMF is still deciding Gotha begged Modi for $1.1 Billion and that has fallen on deaf years as I know from my Indian Clients India is struggling.. Cheenavedi is BANKRUPT. Loan Sharks are killing each other. What can CB do. Nothing as they have already printed Rs. 400 Billion and have run out of printiting paper. Sri Lanka is paying the prcice for electiong a CRIMINAL. Tough and more to come. I will ask Gotha lovers from overseas to dip into their pocket and Bail out Gotha.

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