[lg policy] Sri Lanka: Salary increments for Bilingual Govt Servants

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 14 14:26:53 UTC 2010

Salary increments for Bilingual Govt Servants

Government servants with fluency in Tamil and Sinhala will get special
salary increments on the merits of their being bilingual in due course
as moves contemplated by the National Languages and Social Integration
Ministry, to position the National Language Policy on a pragmatic
footing. National Languages and Social Integration Minister SB Navinna
has instructed Ministry officials to ensure that bilingualism
envisaged in the state policy be established in their environs as this
will be vital for social integration.

The Official Language Policy requires that state institutions and
departments should be bilingual. A time span of three years had been
given to Government servants to become proficient in Tamil, in the
case of them being native Sinhala speakers. Sources close to National
Integration Minister Navinna said, the native Tamil speakers are also
required to learn the Sinhala language to become entitled to the
salary increments that are to be introduced in due course by the
Ministry to promote bilingual education.

Meanwhile , the Social Integration Ministry has reportedly turned 29
Divisional Secretariats to bilingual functioning. National Language
Education Institute Director General Prasad R Herath said, the 29
secretariats that had been converted to bilingual functioning were
selected from divisions where there is a large number of native Tamil
speakers. Herath said the ability to work in Tamil has been made
compulsory to the officers at the Secretariats.

"Hence , we have started Tamil language programs for these officers at
our National Language Training Institute in Agalawatta," he said.
However according to National Integration Ministry sources, Minister
Navinna had met all Ministry Secretaries and District Secretaries
where he had pointed out that there has been setbacks in promoting the
National Language Policy due to lethargy. Meanwhile, the Social
Integration Ministry is planing to make bilingual education compulsory
to those Government servants in management services, they added.

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