UK: Postmaster sacked for refusing to serve poorly spoken

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sun Mar 22 20:12:48 UTC 2009

Postmaster sacked for refusing to serve poorly spoken

Kevin Dowling

A Nottingham postmaster who refused to serve people with poor English
has been dismissed from his position and banned from the Liberal
Democrat party. Sri Lankan born Deva Kumarasiri shot to prominence
this week after he refused to serve customers who could not speak
fluent English on the grounds that it caused delays for other
customers. When the 40-year-old district councillor turned up for work
at the inner-city sub-office this morning he was told he had been
moved to another post office in the city.

The owners of the shop at which the Post Office concession is based
complained to his employment agency saying outrage over his stance was
losing them customers. Kumarasiri, who has lived in the UK for 18
years and was a Liberal Democrat councillor at Gedling Borough
Council, claimed he had attempted to introduce the short-lived policy
in order to provide a better service to his English speaking

He remains defiant, insisting he will fight to return to his old post
to “get back to my customers” and will serve his community as an
independent councillor. He said: “I am at this different site for the
time being and I hope I can then come back.”  He claimed he had been
inundated with cards and messages of support from across the UK but
admitted he did not “expect everyone to agree” with him.  Tony Gillam,
leader of Gedling Liberal Democrats, said Kumarasiri’s opinions meant
he could no longer be a member of the party.

Cllr Gillam said: “Deva is not a Liberal Democrat councillor. The
views expressed go well beyond what we can accommodate.” He added that
it had not been necessary to officially expel Kumarasiri as he had not
paid any subscriptions for 18 months. A spokesman for Kumarasiri’s
employer, Newrose Personnel Limited, was not available to comment.

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