Sri Lanka is preparing to usher in the Year 2020, which will dawn at midnight today.
An All-Night Pirith Chanting will be held at Independence Square, to invoke blessings on the country and its people.
In addition All Night Pirith Chanting and various religious observances will be underway, at a number of Viharayas throughout the Island.
Our correspondents states, devotees in large numbers are converging towards the Atamasthana including the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya at Anuradhapura, the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, and the Kiri Vehera in Katharagama.
Meanwhile, health authorities caution of the need to prevent accidents that could occur amidst the festivities when ushering in the New Year, especially in the use of fireworks and when driving.
Public sector employees will take their oath for the New Year, tomorrow morning (1/1/2020).
The Year 2020 has been termed as the “base year”, to achieve the four way objectives given in the manifesto of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, which are: ‘a productive citizen’, ‘a happy family’, ‘a disciplined, virtuous and fair society’, and ‘a prosperous nation’.
Thereby, the government emphasizes the need for all public sector employees to be committed to achieve these objectives.
In keeping with this motive, a Circular bearing the signature of the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government: S. Hettiarachi states, on the first day of the Year, a special programme needs to be implemented with the participation of all public sector employees.
The main official ceremony will commence under the patronage of Presidential Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, at the Presidential Secretariat at 9.30am tomorrow.
The Circular further states, action should be taken to hold this programme at all government institutions, representing national, provincial, district and divisional level, concurrently to the main ceremony.
The Hoisting the National Flag by the Head of the Institution in the presence of the members of all the staff, will be followed by the singing of the National Anthem.
Thereafter, two minutes silence will be observed to commemorate the war heroes, and others who sacrificed their lives on behalf of the motherland.
The Oath of Public Servants will be read aloud in any language convenient to the members of the staff.
The Head of the Institution will deliver a brief speech on the theme based on the necessity of ensuring the prompt, honest and unwavering contribution of all members of staff, to create a productive citizenry, a happy family and a disciplined society.
President Gotabhaya Rajapakse says, he will eradicate inefficiency in the public service, which was a trait that earned the hatred of the public, under every government. He emphasizes, all state institutions that directly provide services to the public should function with efficiency and transparency. Thereby, laws and regulations need to be amended, in order to ensure efficiency in the public service.
The President says, all state sector institutions need to implement their procedures in a simple manner, in which the general public are not inconvenienced.
The President expressed these views, at a discussion held with senior officials of the Ministry of Transport, today.
The President further stated, it is the responsibility of the 1.5 million public sector employees, to win back the confidence of the public.
For this purpose, it is necessary to escalate issues openly at discussions, without concealment.
The President added, since the public service is the “back bone” of the country, a Selections Board was appointed to recruit skilled and qualified individuals as Heads of state owned institutions.
President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in his Message of Greetings for the New Year states, he is of the view that the New Year is dawning at a time when the entire Sri Lankan Nation is beaming with hope, in many spheres of life of their motherland.
The President states, hence, the new government welcomes the New Year with determination and commitment, to make it a “Year of Prosperity”.
In the message, the President emphasizes, he is aware that the foremost expectation of the people, is to live within a “well-protected nation”.