Tele-mail replaces telegram service

Alternative for public servants to obtain leave without prior approval

by Zacki Jabbar

Following the abolition of the telegram service which began during the colonial era with effect from the beginning of this month, the Cabinet yesterday approved the tele-mail service as an alternative legal document for public servants to obtain leave without prior approval.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Post-Cabinet Press Briefing in Colombo that a proposal, submitted by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister John Seneviratne, to revise Sections 2:5 of Chapter VI, 1:5 of Chapter XII and 6:4 of Chapter XXVIII of the Establishments Code had been approved by the ministers. It sought recognition for the Tele-mail service been introduced by the Department of Posts in lieu of the telegram service, as a legal document for the purpose of obtaining leave for public officers without prior approval.

Postal Minister Jeevan Kumaratunge pointed out that with other forms of communication including email and mobile phone texting becoming popular, the telegram service had become unprofitable with only an average of 50 telegrams being sent daily.

He said that with the service being scrapped, its 1,800 odd employees would be transferred to other sections in the ministry. Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the post of messenger would also be terminated and the staff elevated to the rank of postman. According to the Postal Service Accounts, it had suffered a loss of Rs. 3 billion last year.

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