A group of senior legal practitioners have called upon state sector officials to maintain their independence when engaging in duties related to the upcoming polls, since one candidate who is also the incumbent head of state is unlawfully engaging in electioneering at the expense of the masses.
In a statement,the Conveners of the Lawyers Collective (LC) JC Weliamuna, Lal Wijenayake and Chandrapala Kumarage have pointed a most recent example of attempts to ‘treat’ public servants, where Chief Accounting Officials of District Secretariats who are due to serve as Chief Counting officers during the upcoming elections, have been summoned together with Chief Clerks for an unscheduled meeting with the President after which they are due to be sent to Malaysia on a five-day trip at public expenses.
The legal practitioners have expressed shock at the level of election law violations that have been and are being committed by the UPFA to which includes misuse of state property, police and defense establishment, bribery and ‘treating’ of electioneers including public servants.
They have pointed to that both the Secretaries to the Ministry of Law and Order and Defense are actively campaigning for President Rajapaksa apart from deploying the Police and the military to aid his election campaigning activities.
In the statement, the lawyers have also criticized the total lack of accountability in the costs of events held at the Temple Trees to ‘treat’ public servants, of which the expenses have to be borne by the public.