Ms. I. H. Rathnaweera [People’s Choice Award]
The Divisional Secretariat is a public office that all citizens are familiar with and it is an institution that is usually the first point of contact between the public and the public service. Every day, members of the public flock to their Divisional Secretariat offices to access a myriad of public services. In this crucial institution, the Divisional Secretary for Four–Gravets in Galle, Ms. Inoka Himali Rathnaweera has been successful in maintaining public trust and confidence by ensuring timely and efficient public service delivery by embracing modern technology and by mitigating bribery and corruption. A notable intervention carried out by Ms. Rathnaweera was the tackling of fraudulent voter registration lists used to enroll children in public schools. By training and appointing new Grama Niladharis for the affected areas, Ms. Rathnaweera was able to arrest this practice and ensure equal treatment for all citizens in her division. Working closely with the public, Ms. Rathnaweera has been lauded for her efficiency and diligence in dealing with natural disasters including in the fair distribution of government allocated relief. Her integrity and ideals in such situations have often made her the victim of political pressure, threats and intimidation but in all such instances Ms. Rathnaweera has stood by the public serving as a role model for officials everywhere.