JVP questions appointment of new secretaries

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has accused the Government of indirectly violating the law through the appointment of seven new Ministry secretaries.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday appointed new secretaries to the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights, and Law Reforms, Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Social Security, Ministry of Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare, Ministry of Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation & Rural Development and Ministry of Health & Indigenous Medicine.

The appointments were made with Parliamentary elections declared on 20 June.

Commenting on the appointments, former JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake told the Colombo Gazette that the law clearly states that it is illegal to transfer public officials during election period.

The reason behind this legal provision is to prevent political interference and to enable the holding of free and fair elections.

Bimal Rathnayake further explained that the Secretaries to the Ministries report directly to the National Elections Commission.

The Commission has issued a circular to the Ministry Secretaries prohibiting the transfer or appointments of all public officials. 

The legislation does not explicitly prohibit the transfers or appointments of Secretaries to Ministries during election period.

Bimal Rathnayake pointed out that as the Government was unable to transfer or appoint public officials, it had indirectly violated the law by appointing new secretaries to seven Ministries yesterday, which could have an impact on free and fair elections.

He said therefore, the JVP has decided to raise the matter with the National Elections Commission, along with certain other crucial violations related to the General Election. (Colombo Gazette)

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