Deshapriya laments lack of Tamil language proficient officers

The lack of government officers proficient in the Tamil language has been a reason for election work to be delayed, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday.

Addressing a media briefing at the Elections Secretariat, he stressed the need to hire more officers proficient in Tamil so that the Secretariat can fulfill their mandate of making information available in all three languages.

“We decided to send the list of candidates along with the polling cards to all the houses, so that they can make an informed decision. This turned out to be more work than expected as the Government Printers does not have adequate numbers of Tamil proof readers. This meant that our officers had to be sent there to proof read documents,” Deshapriya said.

“This had resulted in many of their other documents such as instructions to polling booth staff being delayed. In addition, the Commission has also had trouble finding bilingual officers to be sent to work in mixed electorates such as Gampaha or Thihariya,” he said.

“We have highlighted this problem for a long time now but very little action has been taken. We ask that the government conduct an exam and hire more people who proficent in the Tamil language,” said the Election Commission Chairman said.

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