State will back committed officials – President

Friday, 17 December 2010 01:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said that state officials who take decisions in good faith and show dedication and commitment in their service to the public would always be protected and backed by the State.

The President made this statement addressing a batch of new entrants to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service at Temple Trees. The President said that public servants should not show reluctance in taking firm decisions which they think would benefit the public.

He noted that even when decisions taken by officials in good faith produce faulty results, the entire state sector was prepared to back them.

On the occasion 135 new entrants who successfully completed the Sri Lanka Administrative Service Exam in 2009 were presented with their appointment letters.  The President who spoke prior to presenting appointment letters told them to keep in mind that ‘service to the people is a service to the god’.  He advised them not to delay the work which should be done today adding they should also attend to public needs without delay.

“Make sure that people who come to you with tears in their eyes go back with a smile in their face” he added.  “Today there is a conducive environment for public servants to work free from intimidation. You can work in any part of the island from Point Pedro to Dondra Head without fear, “ he said.  President Rajapaksa said that a research done by President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunge had revealed that public servants actually engage in their entrusted work only for three hours and 20 minutes from their stipulated seven hours and 40 minutes work time for a day.

He said that such workers should tap into their own hearts and ask whether it was proper and justifiable. But also there are others who work round the clock with dedication to serve the public, he added.  He pointed out that some state officials of the past such as Leonard Woolf and many others were even today remembered with fond memories due to their dedication to serve the public. Their memoirs are beneficial even today to the country, he said.

He also told the new officials to set an example and lead from the front in protecting the country’s culture, heritage and its customs.

He said that he saw an incident recently where people even danced when the National Anthem was being played and added that such incidents should be prevented.

He urged the newly appointed officials to supplement the Government’s efforts to take the country towards prosperity.