Dear jica friends,
There are three competitive examinations in Sri Lanka for the recruitment of persons to the public service. The gazette notification which calls for applications for these exams contained a clause preventing persons with visual disabilities from applying. For years, the Sri Lanka Council for the Blind has been demanding the State to change the detrimental clause.
The request by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), which is a member of the steering committee on the recruitment of PWDs at the Ministry of Labour and Man Power Resource, was finally honoured this year. Though the gazette notification was not changed, applications from persons with visual disabilities were entertained and for the very first time, in February 2010, nine blind persons sat the competitive exam for recruitment to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. I am proud to have been involved in opening doorways for the blind. I was one of the two persons who applied to sit the exam in 2006. My application was rejected by the Commissioner of Exams stating that I was not eligible since I was visually impaired. My sacrifice has been fruitful and I hope that the State will take more measures to provide equal opportunities for PWDs in the near future.