Chairman of the Official Languages Commission Raja Collure yesterday said that the Government has decided to pay monthly allowances of between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 as an inducement to public servants who gain proficiency in the second language.
He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was very concerned about public servants gaining proficiency in the second language and directed that the Official Languages Act be implemented.
The former Communist Party parliamentarian Collure said that the Official Languages Department had commenced an internal survey to assess the available resources `In the first instance we are carrying out a survey of the resources at hand to serve minority linguistic groups as it had been found that 61 per cent of the Tamil speaking people, who live outside the North and the East sometimes face very serious problems in their administrative dealings. We are looking for those who can speak and work both in Tamil and Sinhala as one is required to speak to a citizen in his own language. We are visiting Government departments to check whether the officials are able to correspond in the language required by the citizen,` he said.
Collure said they were also looking into the material resources like typewriters, Computer Software etc. used in the implementation of the official languages Act and whether the Institution has exhibited its signboards, notice boards and notices and the forms given to the public in all three languages.
They are checking on whether the receptionists speak to the public in Sinhalese and Tamil and provide the necessary information and directions in the language of choice. This survey would be conducted all over the country including state institutions in the North, he said.