Historical Sketch About GSBA
On 5th October 1954, an organisation by the name of ;Public Services and Local ;Government Services Buddhist Societies Federation was established with the participation of the representatives of 23 Buddhist Societies in Government Departments.It was the first time in the history of the Public Service in Sri Lanka that such a Buddhist organization was established.
Among the key office bearers elected on that day were; Mr. N.Q.Dias, who was the then Registrar General as President, Mr. Gunaseela Withanage an Accountant as Secretary,and Most Ven.Madihe Pannaseeha Nayake Thero,as one of the Patrons.
At the next meeting held three months later,it was decided to 1 agree on a standardized national dress 2 compile a list of Arya Sinhala names and 3 to request the Government to declare Poya day a public holiday. It was also decided that until the finalization of these three matters to temporarily stop taking on other issues for consideration.
Due to the keen interest taken by the members of the Federation the wearing of the national dress to office gradually gained ground and later it was worn at official functions too. The compilation of the Arya Sinhala list of names was completed and a book was published. It was made easy for the public servants to change their names and a circular was issued by the Treasury. Two Committees were appointed by the Government to study the proposal to declare Poya day a Public holiday. As a result of this agitation the four Poya days of the month were declared holidays with effect from 1st January 1966.
Among the other activities of the Federation observing Sil in Anuradhapura on Esala Poya day and chanting of all night Pirith on 31st December each year at the Independence Square and giving alms to the Maha Sangha on 1st January ,commencing 31st December 1960 are significant.This practice has ;continued uninterrupted to date
During this period a number of branch societies became inactive with the transfer and retirement of officers. Due to this even active members could not participate at the meetings of the Federation. In order to get over this problem a decision was made at the Annual General Meeting held on 28th October 1980 to allow individual officers to become members and to change the name of the organization to "Government Services Buddhist Association'' From this day an officer in the Public Service or Local Government Service could be an ordinary or life member of the Association.Even a retired Public Officer could be a member.