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EC Deshapriya, Recommend The Secretary Gota Be Dismissed Immediately

By Siritunga Jayasuriya

Siritunga Jayasuriya

Siritunga Jayasuriya

Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya

Commissioner of Elections

Elections Secretariat

Rajagiriya.

Dear Sir,

Request to initiate action against Secretary to MoD and UD for participating in election campaigns

You are well aware by now that Secretary to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Urban Development (UD), Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has participated in the launch of the election campaign of the Colombo District  Jathika Hela Urumaya nominee Udaya Gammanpila, a candidate for the provincial council elections for the Western Province, on the the UPFA list, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 13 February, 2014.

The law is quite clear about senior public service officers taking part in political activities. All officers from staff grade and above are prohibited in taking part in political activities including attending any event that can be identified by the public as political.

Your attention is therefore drawn to Establishment Code Volume I and Public Administration Circular No. 6/2006 that provides for who a public officer is and Section 11 under the title Grading of Employees that says, tertiary and senior level officers including Secretaries and special posts at the level of Ministry Secretaries, placed at a salary level of 4/2006 are in the category of public officers, debarred from involving or participating in political activities and or events, that brings disrepute to the public service.

We as a recognised political party that had contested presidential and parliamentary elections in the past and contesting the provincial council elections in the West and the South wish to say, your social responsibility as Election Commissioner is derived from the fact that you have not only to be seen as taking every necessary step to hold a free and fair election, but you also take necessary steps effectively and without delay.

The issue of Secretary to the MoD and UD, participating in an election campaign event therefore warrants your immediate intervention. Candidate Gammanpila, commenting on Secretary MoD and UD participating in his election campaign event, accepts the said Secretary had participated in similar events even before. (Refer Ravaya of 16 Feb. 2014, front page main news story)

The Secretary to the MoD and UD not being a permanent employee from public service, we are aware his case can not be dealt with, as in the case of any other such public officer. Yet your responsibility demands you to raise the issue and request the appointing authority to take appropriate action according to the Establishment Code and relevant Public Administration Circulars. As far as our interpretation of the said rules and regulations are concerned, he has to be removed from service if proven guilty and his pension, eligible after 05 years of continuous service, has to be withdrawn.

We are aware you have already taken similar action by referring to the Public Service Commission (PSC), the participation of a Provincial Secretary at the farewell party of outgoing Chief Minister of the Southern Province, after the provincial councils were dissolved.

While these violations of the law at the highest level of the ministries go unchallenged, there are many reports of other officials at local level openly indulging in government party politics, thus making the whole election process a ruling party sponsored carnival. If Secretaries are also allowed to violate law publicly and with arrogance, your responsibility and commitment in holding a free and fair elections, turns out as a sorry debacle. That in turn violates the right of citizens to partake in a free and fair elections.

We therefore urge you to immediately intervene in reporting the issue of violation of law and recommend the Secretary be dismissed forthwith.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Siritunga Jayasuriya

General secretary

United Socialists Party

18 February, 2014

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    I thought if you would go against election guidelines… you will have to face a litigation process, but just a making an apology seem to be enough according to current administration ??????????????????????????? so long you are under rulers, you can do whatever you think is right…… this is the RULE OF LAW under MR thugs ?????????????????

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    TUESDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2014 23:17 E-mail Print
    Colombo district UPFA chief candidate for the election to the Western Provincial Council Udaya Gammanpila said today that he apologised to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya for the participation of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the function to mark the launch of his election campaign.

    However, he remarked the Defence Secretary, being a political appointee, had every right to participate in election rallies or meetings. Yet, he said he made an apology because Mr. Deshapriya considered it inappropriate.

    Mr. Gammanpila responding to a letter by UNP candidate Srinath Perera which accused him of violating election laws by getting the support of a Ministry Secretary for election campaigning said, according to the 1978 Constitution, Ministry Secretaries are not public servants and hence Mr. Rajapaksa had a right to participate in election campaign.

    “I regret about Mr. Perera’s ignorance of the history of his own party. According to Clause 52 of the 1978 Constitution, a Ministry Secretary is not a public servant, and therefore, he or she can take part in any political campaign. However, I sought the advice of Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya in this regard, and unfortunately he also held the view that it was not appropriate for a Ministry Secretary to engage in election campaigning. I phoned the Elections Commissioner and asked it, not as a lawyer or a political critic, but as a candidate. So I apologised to him for the incident respecting his opinion without any debate. Also, I assured him that I would not have any Ministry Secretaries in my election campaigning again”, Mr. Gammanpila said.

    Mr. Gammanpila went on to reject a point made by Mr. Perera in his letter that Mr. Rajapaksa had always held the view that casinos should be established in the country.

    “Mr. Perera has said in his letter that Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa consistently held the view that casinos should be established in the country. But I have never seen him representing such an opinion. As a lawyer, he must have said that with some evidence. So I insist that he publish that evidence via the media to prove it in the same way he gave publicity to his letter. If he cannot do that, he needs to apologise to both of us for creating a wrong image about us in the country,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana)

  • 1
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    Gamanpila apologized on behalf of his lordship. It seems that all that is needed is for somebody to apologize on behalf of his lordship so that he can get away with whatever he damn well pleases. Hats off or thumbs up to Siritunga for asking for his resignation. It is about time others joined him.

  • 0
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    WHERE IS WICKRAMASINGHE THE OTHER DICTATOR. THIS INCIDENT, THEN KILLING PRISONERS , KILLING CHILDREN WHITE VANS KILLING PROTESTORS IN THE FTZ. ARMY RUNS AMOCK AND WHERE IS WICKS? Why is he not asking the defense sec to step down.

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