In a clear violation of the basic tenets of good governance and demonstrating absolute confusion over ‘state,’ ‘government’ and ‘party,’ the Ministry of Home Affairs has demanded all District Secretaries organize programmes for the commemoration of a political event, i.e ‘the completion of 40 years of public service by the Hon Prime Minsiter Ranil Wickremesinghe.’
The relevant instructions have been issued in a letter marked ‘Extremely Urgent’ and signed by Neil De Alwis, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs. The directives, detailed under the subject line ‘The completion of 40 years of public service by the Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the free economic system,’ calls for the mobilizing of support from people in the relevant areas and obtaining their involvement for commemorative programmes. These include all night pirith ceremonies on August 3, 2017 and offering of alms to 40 Buddhist monks on the following day (August 4th). The District Secretaries have been asked to arrange for these religious events to be complemented by similar ceremonies invoking blessings on the people and the Yahapalana government at Christian, Hindu and Muslim places of worship.
The letter has been copied to the Secretary to the Prime Minister ‘for his kind attention’. It is not known whether or not the Prime Minister’s office has noted the clear abuse of state resources and the politicization of public offices embedded in the text of the letter and, in the event of such noticing, given appropriate instructions to the Home Affairs Minister.
Meanwhile a person close to the Prime Minister has expressed the opinion that this is but an exercise in sycophancy by the Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena. “In the end it will only ‘sully the good name of the Prime Minister,’”he told Colombo Telegraph. He also opined that if at all such programmed should have been organized by the party.