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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Public servants in Sri Lanka ordered not to criticise Govt. on social media

Public servants have received a gag-order to refrain from criticising the Government and its policies through social media platforms in a fresh move to stem negative publicity against the administration.

They have been warned of disciplinary action if they violate the directive from the State Ministry of Home Affairs.

In a circular issued this week, the Ministry Secretary states the move follows complaints that Divisional Secretaries, Grama Sevaka Niladharis, Development officers among others were using social media to criticise the Government and its policies.

The circular quotes the Establishment Code and points out that severe penalties could be imposed on public sector employees for criticising the Government and its policies as it would bring disrepute to the state sector.

The Ministry says that with the help of information technology experts, already investigations are underway into comments made by certain public sector employees.

The District Secretaries have been informed that the staff under their supervision should be informed of the directive.

A senior Home Affairs State Ministry official said the number of complaints had been on the rise and the complaints included criticism of Cabinet ministers and top officials.

He said that a majority of the complaints had come against the Grama Sevaka Niladharis.

“The objective is to have a disciplined public service,” he added.

Last month, the Agriculture Ministry relieved Prof Buddhi Marambe from all his positions in the Ministry on the grounds that he had criticised the Government’s policy of shifting from chemical fertiliser to organic fertliser.

ST

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