Saturday, February 27, 2016

Public Servants – Secretaries to Ministries – Don’t know their subject

The Sri Lanka Administrative Service higher grades are a small club of Gossiping men and women, who generally know each other well, and who work in all the Ministries in that capacity. Actually they are effectively the CEO of that Ministry, and run it on behalf of the Minister, advising the Minister in matters of procedure and system in order to ensure the smooth running of the Ministry.

When it comes to red tape, and bureaucracy, they are past masters at running rings round their Ministers on delaying and using procedural niceties to delay matters citing that all the paperwork is not in order.

Their most egregious sin is not that. It is simply ignorance of the subject matter. It is most unfortunate that they go on conferences overseas representing their Country and in this instance take the International Environmental Conference in Paris recently, or referred to as the Climate Change COP21, had a delegation of Public Servants. What do these public servants know about Climate Change?

It is a very specialized topic which our Country should have been represented by knowledgeable people on the subject. I commend the Government in sending the Ven. Rathana Thero MP to the conference as he has been an ardent campaigner to rid Sri Lanka of Pesticides that are harming the food chain and ruining the Environment both at the same time, and is one who is very knowledgeable (more than any of the Public Servants who represented Sri Lanka)

He has returned with vigor convicted that there is MORE to do in this area in Sri Lanka, and instead of joisting for prominence is quietly working through the corridors of knowledge enhancing his knowledge on the subject and preparing concrete proposals on what Sri Lanka can do to abide by the Country promises with regard to Climate Change.

The public servants not to be outdone, are doing what they are used to. They are simply wasting public money on a show of meetings and setting up conferences on this topic without engaging any experts in the field, as they know they will be outclassed. Shame when those in power, suppress those with knowledge, because of their insecurity with regard to the lack of their knowledge.

It is important for the public servant to know his limitations and call upon the expert, when needed, rather than keeping the expert out of the loop, as they fear that their ignorance will exposed for all to see. Yes they are ignorant, as it is NOT their field. They are pawns moved from one place to another. That is all.

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