Officials Must Change Military Mindset: Ashraf
Monday, 19 July 2010

The conduct of civil servants have been like that of military officials because of the prolonged military rule in the country, local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam has said.

He called on civil servants to change their attitude towards public representatives.

"Their mentality has also remained unchanged," he said, replying to a supplementary query at the question-answer session in the parliament on Sunday.

"Military rulers have governed the country for most of the time (since the country's liberation in 1971) and their mentality has not changed."

"They (civil servant) have not been able adapt to democratic rule. Their mindset will be changed through long-term practice of democracy."

Replying to a query of Mujibul Haq Chunnu MP from Kishoreganj, Ashraf said polls to the long overdue municipalities and union councils will be held within November and December.

Regarding the delay in holding local government elections, he said, "The caretaker government issued some ordinances (during its 2007-8 tenure) in a bid to depoliticise the country to prevent politicians from participating in local government polls."

Mentioning the government's thoughts over protecting the interest of public representatives, he said, "The government is trying to ensure that local government representatives cannot be dismissed with the stroke of a pen."

"We want to make sure that public representatives cannot be dismissed until they are proved guilty."

He also said, "We want to ensure the dignity of public representatives. It is much easier to dismiss a public representative than dismiss a lower level official."

He also said it would also be ensured that no government official can be administrator of a municipality.


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