One-time Post Master General Soma Kotakadeniya yesterday alleged that politicians had destroyed the once proud Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS), hence a major effort was needed to restore it.
Mrs. Kotakadeniya claimed that the SLAS was in a pathetic state due to political interference and the failure on the part of SLAS officers to resist successive governments.
The tough talking Mrs Kotakadeniya lashed out at those who had meekly given in to politicians over the years, while recollecting how she was deprived of the opportunity to function as Secretary to a Ministry.
She was addressing a gathering at the launch of her memoirs, Maa Aa Mawatha (The road I traversed) at the SLFI.
Mrs. Kotakadeniya criticized postal unions for thwarting her efforts to improve services during her tenure. Had they allowed me to implement changes at that time, the department wouldn’t have been in such a bad state today, she said.
Commenting on the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) department, she alleged that corrupt practices were continuing regardless of efforts to streamline services. The bottom line was that both politicians and a section of SLAS had contributed to the deterioration of the public service, she said.
She urged those now serving public administration to be disciplined thereby setting an example to newcomers as well as other sectors. The outspoken official recalled the circumstances under which she was forced to serve under two colleagues junior to her at the tail end of her career.
Veteran SLAS officer V. K. Nanayakkara pointed out that both Soma and her husband, H. M. G. B. Kotakadeniya had been harassed by those in power for different reasons.