Inland Revenue discriminates against Tamils - MP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 September 1998, 05:32 GMT]
Despite the Sri Lankan Department of Inland Revenue having regional offices in Jaffna and Batticaloa, people living in nearby Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts of the Northeast Province have to deal with the Department through its regional office in Anurdhapura which is in the North Central Province, said Joseph Pararjasingham, MP (Tamil United Liberation Front - Batticaloa District) in Parliament on Wednesday.

He said that this effectively negated the concept of the devolution of power through the Provincial Council system and the Regional Councils that have been proposed by Peoples' Alliance (PA) Government.

Speaking further, he said that due to the method of recruitment in the Department of Inland Revenue in the past, the number of Tamils serving in the Department had shrunk to 3%.

Of the 106 assessors recruited in 1996 there were only three Tamils. Of the 134 tax officers recruited to the Department in 1997, there were no Tamils and only one Muslim.

He said it was discrimination of this type which had led to an armed rebellion that is witnessed in the Northeast today.

Tamils comprise around 20% of Sri Lanka's population.

Dr. G. L. Peiris is the Deputy Minister of Finance whose purview includes the Department of Inland Revenue.

Dr. Peiris is also the minister in charge of the portfolios of Ethnic Affairs and National Integration and is credited with authoring the regional councils system proposed by the PA.

 

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