Election Commission of Sri Lanka has intervened to suspend a program to provide state sector jobs for all unemployed graduates and diploma holders pending the announcement of the results of the general election called for 25 April.
Sri Lanka government has already recruited about 45,000 unemployed graduates and sent appointment letters requesting them to report to the training program from 1 March.
The mass recruitment programme was promised during November’s presidential election campaign by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa but has now been halted because the appointment letters are being delivered during a time when a parliamentary election has been called.
Several complaints had been received, saying recruiting graduates during election time is illegal and would involve promoting political agendas of several political parties.
After considering those complaints, Sri Lanka Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya ordered the local government ministry secretary to suspend the training programme for newly recruited graduates until a week after the election results are published. The local government ministry secretary says the suspension is only a temporary one and they hope to start the training programme on 4 May or 11 May.
But qualified candidates are not happy with the Election Commission’s decision. “I got my appointment letter and went to the DS [Divisional Secretariat] office as requested, then only I knew that the EC [Election Commission] has ordered to suspend it. We were waiting from last year December and now it is dragging again,” an unemployed graduate told University World News.
Last November, during the presidential election campaign, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised to provide jobs for all unemployed university graduates.