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Govt to meet EC chairman over decision to halt graduate appointments

ECONOMYNEXT – Government officials will meet Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya today to clarify a directive issued by him to stop handing over letters of appointment dated March 1 to over 45,000 graduate recruits.

In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, Deshapriya had ordered to postpone these appointments to one week after the upcoming parliamentary election.

Co-cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today that the cabinet of ministers “cannot understand the EC chairman’s order” as the letters of appointments were sent to 45,585 graduate recruits before parliament was dissolved in the last of week of February.

The appointments were made after a “100-day process”, said Gunawardena, fulfilling a promise made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his election campaign last year.

The minister further said that since the appointments have already been made, a payment of Rs 20,000 promised to the recruits during their training period has to be made, despite training being halted as a result of Deshapriya’s directive.

The cabinet hopes that the “intellectuals at the Election Commission” will look into the matter and arrive at a fair decision, said Gunawardena, as these appointments were not politically motivated. (Colombo/Mar5/2020)

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