SLASS drawn into northern imbroglio

Thursday, 9 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Threatening calls from overseas: Northern Province Chief Secy.
  • “Please let us do our work with peace of mind”: SLASS
The over 2,000 strong Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association (SLASS) has strongly called for its members to be allowed to function “with peace of mind”. In a press statement issued yesterday, SLASS has requested all stakeholders in provincial administrations – including political – to ‘behave’. “As you are well aware, in our official capacity we are bound to follow all relevant applicable rules and regulations in carrying out our duties in the larger interest of the State and public. We are also bound to protect the interest of the State as our primary function to ensure no one misuses or misappropriate public wealth. I have no problem in extending my best assistance and help to any elected public representative who requires my assistance within my authority. I have been engaged in supporting to deliver numerous services to the people through various Government resettlement, livelihood and development programs. “After the elected Provincial Council was established, I have provided all the support and advice for smooth running of the council to the members and board of ministers by giving staffing, accommodation and financing. As of now, line ministries are being provided our maximum help by giving required cadre and funds. We are now facing this situation in the Northern Provincial Council in Jaffna due to our senior administrators not being in favour of working beyond the official boundaries of their authority, under which we are expected to function in our official engagements.  This nature of enmity has developed to the extent that I am now receiving death threats by SMS from abroad and phone calls by unknown elements who wanted me and other SLAS members to vacate our respective positions to enable the ruling group in the provincial council to have their favourite officers who can carry out their commands. Allow our members to function with peace of mind,” the statement said. A distressed Vijaialudchumi Ramesh, Chief Secretary of the Northern Province and a member of SLASS, making her case yesterday at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Colombo, revealed: “Some elected members of the Northern Province said in mass media that we, public officials of the administration, are not cooperating. This is wrong. We cooperate with the rules and regulations. They also alleged that we ‘are not doing anything’ without specifying what the instances are. I am sad and worried; I have been receiving threatening calls in the last few days – even from overseas.”