What do you grow in Pettah? | Daily News

What do you grow in Pettah?

A very funny news item appeared in the media last week. It was about an Agricultural Research and Production Assistant working in Pettah for a long time! According to the news item, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had instructed all relevant officials to deploy agricultural officers to the areas that need their service the most and remove them from the areas where their services are not required. It was revealed that at present, farmers in far away areas in the country undergo numerous difficulties without being able to obtain the service of those officers.

The said Agricultural Research and Production Assistant has been working at Pettah for several years and only God knows what he has been doing in Pettah where not even a banana or a coconut tree is planted. The entire country knows that there are no paddy fields, coconut estates, tea estates, banana cultivations, chena cultivations etc. in Pettah. The people who have a small tree or two in their home gardens can very easily give a call to the Agricultural Department and solve their issues related to them.

Minister Amaraweera revealed another story of how some Veterinary Surgeons have been stationed in Colombo for decades without working in the outstations where their services are badly needed.

He revealed that they treat cats and dogs belonging to the rich people residing in Colombo while there is a severe shortage of Veterinary Surgeons in the outstations where their services are needed the most. They have to perform artificial insemination to cows in order to increase the country’s fresh milk production.

We are talking about this problem today because this is not the only public servant who draws a monthly salary while doing nothing. There are thousands of similar public servants everywhere in Sri Lanka and they have been eating into the country’s wealth earned by the private sector employees during the past several decades. This is how Sri Lanka landed in this extremely tough financial crisis today. This should be stopped right now because Sri Lanka cannot progress in this manner any longer. The country has already reached a crucial juncture where every official duty of every single public servant matters a lot.

A few decades ago, non academic staff attached to State schools was limited to two or three public servants but today this number has been increased beyond ten while in some schools there are 15 or more non academic staff. This is a pathetic situation because they draw a monthly salary and do nothing. Sometimes they are teaching schoolchildren what they want and not what the school syllabus states because they are not teachers and neither of them have any training.

Almost all public offices are over staffed and the Department Heads who are friendly with those workers are hiding this fact in order to keep those additional employees in the same place without letting the Government transfer them to another public office where their service can be made use of. They have become a team against making urgently needed changes.

This is a golden chance for the brainwashed graduates who received appointments as public servants to promote their evil ideologies in State institutions because they do not have an official duty or a specific work load to complete before a deadline arrives. What they do is organise ‘Aragalaya’ after ‘Aragalaya’ through social media in order to promote the evil ideology of the ones who brainwashed them at State Universities. A few months ago it was revealed to the country that there are over 100,000 public servants without a specific official duty.

It is the very same with the semi-Government institutions. There are plenty of additional employees in almost all departments doing nothing. They just come to work in the morning, sign in, hang around, attend to their private work, sign off and go home without any problem. This situation had been created during the past several decades because various politicians belonging to various political parties filled State institutions with their unqualified, unprofessional political henchmen after every single election.

But still the problem can be solved because most of them are minor employees or the employees such as peons, clerks etc. They can be deployed to any State or semi-Government institution where their service can be obtained effectively.

The other burning issue is that the relevant State departments, officials who are assigned to check the additional staff attached to various State institutions are delaying in performing their official duties. For example, additional school teachers are required to transfer to schools where teachers are required but this is not taking place speedily islandwide. It is the very same with changing the jobs of qualified public servants who are in lower and irrelevant jobs with higher educational and professional qualifications.

It is high time that public servants who are deliberately shying away from their duties are brought to book and placed in their due positions and work stations where they can offer their service to the people. No public servant should be allowed to draw a monthly salary without working. The innocent people who pay various taxes to pay the salaries of public servants. Therefore, they deserve the service of all those public servants who are doing nothing.


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