By: Isuru Parakrama
Colombo (LNW): Both the Government’s Printer and the Treasury Secretary have become puppets under the palm of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, leading to which the postponement of the upcoming Local Government Election is being carried out in violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, warned Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP S.M. Marikkar, speaking to a briefing called in today (15).
Reminding that no circular is considered as superior as the Constitution itself, Marikkar emphasised that the Government’s Printer and the Treasury Secretary have the responsibility to follow the guidelines of the Election Commission in compliance with the constitutional duty entrusted with them.
Should the Government’s Printer believe that ballot papers will not be printed in the event of funds not being released, she should also be questioning as to how the Government Press’ affairs were carried out during the last polls held in the country, the SJB MP stressed, pointing out that such funds were not released on the basis of ‘money-in-hand’ but were of systematically credited expenses.
Addressing Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena, Marikkar reminded that he had issued Rs. 100 million for the election affairs to date and added that should he believe that funds cannot be allocated for the holding of the upcoming Local Government Polls, the Treasury Secretary should also be held accountable for wasting public funds amounting to Rs. 100 million this far.
The SJB MP went on saying that the Treasury Secretary’s conduct behind the provisions of the circulars in violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka should be a prison sentence up to three years, and the Government’s Printer should also be facing the same fate, should she continue to avoid her duties.
The President who came to power pledging that the Constitution will be protected and democracy will be strengthened has resorted to a conduct which had never been committed in the history of Sri Lanka, Marikkar went on, adding that him barring the printing of ballot papers would be a violation of democracy. Despite the President’s everyday walk under the STF’s protection, he should bow to the public’s opinion, the SJB MP added.