Public Administration Secretary and PSC clash on dress code circular

The Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, J.J. Ratnasiri and the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday attacks, today clashed on the dress code circular issued by him.

The PSC questioned the Secretary as to who gave him the authority to issue the circular and if he has withdrawn it.

The circular states that male officials during their work hours, when entering respective offices, should be clad in trousers and shirt or the national attire, while female officials are required to be clad in either a saree or a Kandyan saree.

It also states that officers who currently receive uniforms or vouchers for uniforms must be dressed appropriately as well.

Ratnasiri said that the circular was issued following the Easter Sunday attacks after discussions held with several officials as well as the Minister in charge.

However the PSC noted that the Minister in charge had said he was not aware of the circular being issued.

Ratnasiri however insisted that the circular had the approval of the Minister.

The PSC also informed the Secretary that some state employees, especially Muslim women, had filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka over the circular.

Ratnasiri however said that the concerns should first have been raised with the department heads or the Ministry and not the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. The PSC however objected to the stand taken by the Secretary.

The PSC also asked him if the circular has been suspended as instructions to that effect had been issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ratnasiri however said that the circular has not been suspended but will only be amended. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Even the Indian Ministry team who visited Sri Lanka did not agree on the dress code. PM Modi was dressing as an Indian others were wearing suit and tie. South Asia was ruled by others for centuries, impossible to make this donkeys to think and act the same. South Asian donkeys never catch up with Japanese or Chinese. Because those countries were not infiltrated by foreign powers. Japan never invaded by others, and China quickly built the great wall to stop the Mongolians invading China.

  2. Nothing wrong in wearing suit and tie, because it is an international dress code. Japanese, Chinese and Singaporeans wear suit and tie as an official dress, it does not mean they worship the West or deny their culture. There is a place and time to wear suit and cultural dress, but South Asians do not know the place and time, that is the real problem.

    The Sri Lankan president does wear shoes, why is he wearing shoes, it is part of the Western dress. The President uses telephone which is invented by the West. We should not act based on ideology, but act as pragmatic people. As a human evolution, if something has established and accepted by the most of the world then we must also go with the flow. We can’t say that ‘it was created by the West so we should not follow.’ If we do that then we are also radicals.

    As Asian intellectuals we don’t write off the West, but point out the West’s shortfalls and prepare the Asian leaders to make this world a better place for everyone. We are not interested to destroy what have been established, but transition into inclusive and better life for everyone. Please note, we don’t accept that everything has been established by the West is fair and good for every part of the world.

  3. I cannot see anything wrong in Mr Rathnasiri’s comments. Even Mrs. Ashroff wore saree. The select committee cannot demean a person. They are not Gods. They are supposed to be in a fact finding mission about April 21st attack and to ridicule government servants.


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