Mahinda tells parliament govt is exacting political revenge from state employees

By Saman Indrajith

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa told parliament yesterday that the Ranil Wickremesinghe led UNP government was engaged in taking political revenge on several union employees of certain institutions.

"This political vengeance on employees of ITN has now spread to other state institutions as well. Especially, at the Youth Services Council which is under the direct purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, 23 workers have been transferred to positions not suited to their qualifications, flouting all accepted service procedures, without any concern for service requirements, disregarding all service commendations and qualifications."

He noted that due to political vengeance the workers and their families were facing great difficulty. Hence he urged that those irregular and politically revengeful   transfers be  cancelled immediately and those workers returned to their regular work places. He also requested that all irregular promotions too be cancelled.

Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara refuting the allegations made by Rajapaksa said that his government had not initiated any transfers based on political vengeance. "Independent commissions such as the Police Commission and the State Services Commission have been established in order to strengthen the rights of the workers and safeguard the state sector. These commissions had not carried out any group transfers. However, having inquired into the matter, I learnt that these are annual transfers that are usually carried out by the State Services Commission, effective from February. Unless for disciplinary reasons, no transfers would be carried out."

He requested the Opposition Leader to forward a list of such persons who he said had been transferred on political grounds, assuring him that the matter would be looked into. "Certain transfers are made based on disciplinary grounds and service requirements and the Prime Minister has given us the authority to look into any discrepancy and take appropriate measures to rectify them. Therefore, if these names are given, we will look into the matter. By January 8th, 2018 the UNP Headquarters had received complaints regarding 32,000 political revenge issues. However, we will not be like that and we will look into these matters and rectify these issues if we find that these have been politically motivated transfers," he added.

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