ENGAGING SRI LANKA’S BORN PROFESSIONALS NATION BUILDING
Posted on November 28th, 2019

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

I read articles published in national newspapers in this subject and many reporters or writers did not consider essential points on this matter and some professionals overseas have primary views that current professionals in Sri Lanka have no required knowledge, skills, experience to perform their work.  It is the not correct view. Many people have genuine intension to contribute for nation building thrust because many professionals studied from kinder to university degrees at free of charge and working for such advantages useful to nation building effort.

It is a quite good idea using Sri Lanka’s born professionals for nation-building with limits.  Sri Lanka has legal provisions to use expatriates for employment with certain limits.  Many expatriates’ professionals work in private firms and there are limits to use them too.  If Sri Lanka has a shortage of professionals to successfully operate investment business, immigration and exchange regulation allowed to use expatriates, addition overseas volunteers also can engage in work and the USA, Australia, Canada, Japanese, Chinese and Indian volunteers work in Sri Lanka. 

Some professionals who migrated to Western Countries are not satisfied with the work they are engaged in and no job satisfaction to them in Western countries.  These professionals engaged in lower grade work based on two main points.  One is they are paid in dollars, which is a higher amount of payment when converted to Sri Lanka’s rupees and the other is when the whole family migrated, they have a good opportunity to educate children and employ them in good occupations. In Sri Lanka these opportunities are limited. Besides, there are other facilities such as free medical and excellent pension facilities.  Sri Lanka cannot afford these facilities within the next twenty years.  These are major constraints to attract Sri Lankan originated professionals back to the country for nation-building.

The second constraint seems whether these professionals are ready to work for local salary or wages.  Sri Lanka cannot make special salary provisions or treatments expatriate Sri Lankans over locally living professionals and if such thing happens there would be a clash between local professionals and overseas professionals.  There is no problem with volunteer service and Sri Lanka’s government needs to negotiate with the government in Western countries to use professional while gaining benefits.  There is no doubt that many Western governments shall not allow for this option as they allowed visas or granted citizenship for the benefits of the countries.

Training Sri Lanka’s employees in various professions by overseas professionals would be advantaged to the country as such an effort would be supported to develop workplace values, modern professional skills, promoting environmental education and key skills such as communication and customer service. If a volunteer program is planned more points need to be considered and it is essential to identify professional areas. Professional living in overseas should not be a burden to Sri Lanka. However, overseas professionals could widely express broader views on Sri Lanka’s programs and it would be more beneficial to the country .

2 Responses to “ENGAGING SRI LANKA’S BORN PROFESSIONALS NATION BUILDING”

  1. aloy Says:

    Edward, I am commenting on the engineering profession.

    There isn’t a single approved code of practice in SL, let alone a Building Code that defines which ones to use for various aspects. Here we still use British Standard when that country stopped using BS codes long ago. For Sewerage our engineers would use 120 litres of discharge per person per day just because europe use that rate when other countries in the region like Singapore, Hong Kong and Brunei use over 300. These are basic things that make a lot of difference for the cost of equipment, pipes etc to be used in these projects.

    When we upgrade roads with funds from WB, ADB and others no checking is done against any code. As a result I find the long wheelbase buses that now ply on our roads with high speed collide at the back when taking bends injuring or killing people. These are strictly checked even in India.
    And what about the shaking bridge at Rajagiriya which has been designed by third grade consultants. I tried to question, but nobody to answer.

  2. aloy Says:

    The figure of 120/l/p/d was given by a top engineer in charge of sewerage section of water board few years ago when I met him at his office. I do not know the current situation.

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