The top team member of the government referred to in this story is handling several key subjects. He was elected from the Colombo district. A young man from a distant place the other day called on this top team member to request help regarding a personal matter.
He was also armed with a recommendation made by the Diyawanna member for his native area.
“Did you bring a letter?” the top team member asked the young man. The young man said: “Yes! Sir!” and handed over the envelope containing his request and the Diyawanna member’s recommendation addressed to the top team member.
The top team member who said, “I am very busy!” hurriedly made a minute on the envelope (even without opening it) and handed it back to the young man.
The young man though unhappy that the big man did not take the trouble to even open the envelope to read his request and the Diyawanna member’s recommendation, proceeded to the office of the Head of the State establishment who was the authority who could attend to his need.
The young man explained the purpose of his visit to the peon at the office of the establishment head.
“Amatitumagen liyumak genawada? (Did you bring a letter from the Minister?”)
The peon asked the young man and the latter respectfully handed him the envelope on which the top team member made the minute.
The peon who went inside his Lokka’s office returned and asked the young man to take a seat until he was called.
The young man waited for about one hour outside the office and at last, he was called inside.
The young man explained his need to the establishment head and the latter said he could attend to the matter if there was a recommendation from the top team member.
“He made a minute recommending my request, Sir!”
“Where did he make the minute?”
“He made it on the envelope that contained the letters!”
“On the envelope…? Do Ministers give recommendations on envelopes…? Don’t tell me lies!” the establishment head barked at him.
The young man swore that he was telling the truth.
It later transpired that the envelope after being opened had been consigned to the wastepaper basket. The peon looked for it but could not find it in the WPB for, by this time what it contained had already been disposed of!
So, the young man had to get back home highly dejected and also smarting from the shelling he got from the establishment head.