The 2088 graduates under Tharuna Aruna Training Programme, after going through an arduous military style training course had immense difficulties to make their grievances heard at the correct place. Their manifestations were subjected to police water jets and batten charges. Finally all of them were able to get employments as financial assistants in schools, which later they found to be nothing more than being junior Clerks with no prospects of promotions or other employment avenues.
These young graduates most of them coming from poor families had high hopes of getting an employment in keeping with their hard earned qualification, and pay back to their parents a part of their earnings to redeem their land and property some of them had sold or mortgaged to give their children a university education.
But working as Financial Assistants have not given them the satisfaction they seek in doing a job, as the duties entrusted to them as Financial Assistance are often menial, being at the call of the Head of the School from morning to evening without fixed hours. They are even asked to come to work during week ends. There are cases where they are even asked to come during school holidays to make photocopies of circulars, test papers etc.
They say that they have not been given specific work and are called upon to do any thing that the Head of the school wants, sweeping the floors, making tea, washing the cups, even do shopping. If they have to pay out of their own pockets for stamps and stationary they are sent to purchase such payments were not refunded.
They are never allowed to act for an absent teacher, as they are strictly employed as clerks. They cannot even use the staff room. When they are called upon to work after office hours , week ends or to make photocopies during holidays, they are not paid for the extra hours.
They continued to work without complaining during the period of probation fearing not to be confirmed, and even after they do what ever is asked of them not wanting to displease the Head of the School. The employment is at the mercy of the employer- the Head of the School, if they want to keep the job they have to do what ever they are asked to do, that seems to be the principle.
About 300 of these graduates trained under Tharuna Aruna in Uva, and about 375 in Sabaragamuwa have been absorbed into teaching service. There are 275 of these graduates in the Central Procince who continue to work as Finance Assistants-only in name, as they are nothing more than junior clerks.
In the Central Province these Tahruna Aruna Trained Financial Assistants question why when those in Uva and Sabaragamuwa Provinces had been given teaching appointments , they have been left out. Uva Province Chief Minister is Mr. Sashindra Rajapakse does that make a difference ?
A few of them as a delegation of the Tharuna Aruna Trainees of the Central Province went to see the Governor of the Central Province Mr.Tikiri Kobbekaduwa hoping to place their case before him, so that he would understand their situation and accept to help them to avoid a discrimination as against those in the Uva and Sabaragamuwa Provinces who had received better treatment !
But the Hon. Governor Mr. Tikiri Kobbekaduwa disappointed them.
They explained to the Hon. Governor, that they were trained under the Tharuna Aruna Scheme, on the assurance that they would be provided with employment in keeping with the qualifications and the arduous training they under go, but even though they were finally provided with employment as Financial Assistants to work in schools they are nothing more than junior clerks. They have to work without any future prospect, without even the hope of being absorbed into the department as teachers.
They pointed out to the Hon. Governor Mr.Tikiri Kobbekaduwa that those from Uva and Sabaragamuwa Provinces who underwent the Tharuna Aruna Training course along with them have been given teaching appointments by the initiative of the respective Governors of the Provinces. They therefore requested him to redress the injustice to them by provide them as well with teaching appointments.
The Governor Mr.Kobbekaduwa had asked them not to tell him about the other provinces because as far as he is concerned he will never give the Tharuna Aruna Trainees in the Central Province any teaching appointments. He had told them that they have a job and it is best that they be satisfied, as he has to look after others who have no jobs.
They had pleaded with him to help them to get teaching appointments, as it would give them the satisfaction of contributing more positively to the country, and also avoid a discrimination being committed against them. They had also said that as it is they cannot even sit for the Administrative Service Examinations to enable them to look forward to better their future prospects.
The Hon. Governor, had then told them that they should read the 18th Amendment to the Constitution introduced by the President, according to which there are no Examinations in future to take officers for the Administrative Service as the President Mahinda Rajapakse will select Officers for the Administrative Service as he selects Governors for the Provinces. Therefore, he had asked them to be satisfied with the jobs they have and be content.
If that is how a governor misinform the Youths who go to him seeking his help, there is something really wrong in the Administration of the Central Province under the Hon. Governor Mr. Tikiri Kobbekaduwe. If the 18th Amendment to the Constitution means what he say it is a discredit the President.
It is of course appreciable that the Government provided these 2088 Tharuna Aruna Trainees
employment in the government. But an employment should have the expectation of compensation for hard work and some sort of future prospectus to look forward to, so that it would encourage the employees to render their service for their own benefit and therefore for the greater benefit of the country.
The Government Representatives in the Provinces should be more accessible to young government servants in whatever category and encourage them providing them with access to better conditions and future prospect in their employment.
If the Tharuna Aruna Trainees in Uva and Sabaragamuwa Provinces have been given teaching appointments , it is nothing but correct that the government provides those Trainees in other Provinces also with teaching appointments. Otherwise it would be a discrimination, which is not in keeping with the promises being made by the President Mr;Mahinda Rajapakse.