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Today, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Appointments through examinations

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During a bygone era before politicization of the Government Service all appointments to the state-owned institutions were made subsequent to conducting examinations after announcing the eligibility criteria in newspapers and in the Government Gazette. The General Clerical Service and Ceylon Civil Service, were two noteworthy examinations and several other examinations were conducted for the selection of Public Health Inspectors, Weights and Measures Inspectors, Probation Officers,  the staff of the Central Bank Service, Technical Officers for numerous state-owned institutions among others. With the politicians taking upon themselves the appointments to the public service, often not the best qualified and suitable were selected, yet the political word prevail disappointing many youth and among others, a cause that led to the 1971 insurrection.

A National Youth Commission was appointed in 199l to investigate the reasons for the youth uprising. Colombo University Siri Hettge’s article [Mirror June 16] reminds the nation of steps the state should take to quell the growing dissatisfaction with the politicized appointments to all state-owned public institutions...
Thus, terminating the politicized appointments, several examinations should be conducted to select the suitable and deserving candidates and prevent the youth being victims of having to pay pooja to politicians of different ranks. A clerical level examination providing the first choice to heads of institutions or departments considered most vital for general administration, several other examinations for higher level positions and the first preference given according to the importance of service position. One examination could be conducted for the lower levels and another for higher levels for the Central Bank and the three State owned banks, perhaps providing the first preference choice to the Central Bank.

The criminalization of teachers with chit appointment, the victims is the students. These chit appointee teachers only possess a hazy idea of teaching methodology and they could readout printed material in books and thus the children are deprived of knowledge based education. A difficult decision even for an Executive President to make for his survival as it depends on the extent to which his politically elected representatives are pleased. But these politicians should remember that only a few with chit appointments will continue to be their own or party loyal supporters. Most of them depending on their own needs and thoughts and will not extend the same loyal support after assuming higher positions and with transfers to other areas.
Kasi Silva

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