Public Administration Ministry Secretary, J. J. Ratnasiri, today said arrangements are being made to amend the circular issued by his ministry to make the saree and the osari compulsory for female public servants.
Mr. Ratnasiri said this while testifying before the select committee looking into the Easter Sunday attacks this evening.
He said this in response to a request made by Committee Chairman, Ananda Kumarasiri, for the circular to be amended as soon as possible.
The secretary said the dress code was confined to those who were working in ministries and departments. He denied that a dress code was to be imposed for the general public coming into state institutions to get their work done.
However, several members of the select committee pointed out that there was such a provision in the circular. Select committee member, Ashu Marasinghe, then read out the section in the circular which specified a dress code for the general public.
Responding to a question raised by Minister Rauff Hakeem as to whether he was aware that Muslim public servants had been facing problems since the Easter Sunday attacks and that some of them have not yet reported to their work places since the attacks, Mr. Ratnasiri said he was not aware of such a situation and that his ministry had not received any written complaints about the matter. MP Marasinghe then asked him as to why there were signs in public institutions on a dress code which visitors need to wear when they visit them for their needs.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka asked him whether there were other circulars with regard to uniforms for public servants, to which Mr. Ratnasiri answered there had been one under which an allowance was paid to public servants to purchase their uniforms. He revealed that the Minister of Public Administration knew about the new circular which was issued recently with regards to a dress code for public servants. (Ajith Siriwadana and Yohan Perera)