Gammanpila apologises to Polls Chief

18 February 2014 05:47 pm - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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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)
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  Comments - 21

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  • flatwhite Wednesday, 19 February 2014 05:15 AM

    But Gota is not a politician and he is a civil servant

    Bavana Wednesday, 19 February 2014 05:28 AM

    Maintaining Law is government responsibility! Why the Law is different for government politicians?And why they are taking law in their hand?

    sada Wednesday, 19 February 2014 05:34 AM

    If you are correct the why apologies'?

    Real Story Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:02 PM

    "Unfortunately, The Elections Commissioner was ignorant about Clause 52 of the 1978 Constitution. So as a lawyer, I had to phone him and point that out. He apologized to me for his ignorance assured that such nonsense would not be uttered in future by him. He also undertook to seek my advice in these sort of matters in future."

    Rakith Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:22 PM

    Mr Gammanpila, where does it state in article 52 that Secretaries to the Ministries are not public servants. Yes, he is appointed by the president. So are the chief justice and the attorney general. By the same token, does it mean that the chief justice and attorney general have a right to participate in an election campaign. Where is the morality?

    wijebahu Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:25 PM

    then let all other secretaries to participate in political meetings as they wish with the party they selected. it will never happened, they will be thrown in to the Jail with cooked up charges.

    Ranga Wednesday, 19 February 2014 05:53 AM

    Article 170 of the Constitution provides the definition of a public officer and those who have been excluded from the said definition. According to that Secretary to a Ministry is a Public Officer within the meaning of Article 170 of the Constitution.

    Ranaviru Wednesday, 19 February 2014 06:30 AM

    if SF discharged from his ranks for doing politics after retirement why not for others?????? In your statement actually you say you're a smart guy law doesn't know by EC and the Secretary. via DM Android App

    lkboy Wednesday, 19 February 2014 06:10 AM

    at least he admitted his faults. No politician does that these days!

    OMG Wednesday, 19 February 2014 06:18 AM

    Welcome tot he Kingdom of Sri Lanka

    nillu Wednesday, 19 February 2014 06:27 AM

    This idiot has got nothing to say not just preaching the same old story,

    ok how about IGP, and three forces comamders participate in election rallys in uniforms.

    we should kick out these kind of bulshitters, so called patriots

    kumar Wednesday, 19 February 2014 03:19 PM

    Good Judgment. He is a next CJ in Sri Lanka

    dhamme mayadunnee Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:33 AM

    Defence Secretary offended and he should apologise.
    Before 1978 Constitution, 1972 Constitution in its Article 106(1) politicized the govt. service. However, the British had maintained politic free govt. service.
    Now ministry secretary post is held by a casino king.

    Lalith Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:55 AM

    Fully agree with Rakith. It's a blatant lie to say that article 52 states that secretaries are not public servants ! Are they private sector employees ? Bravo !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kalu Banda Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:03 AM

    Morality my foot! That is only for a set of fools like you and I Rakith.

    Kalu Banda Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:05 AM

    Was this not the similar charge for which Gen Fonseka lost his civic rights ? Well Well - What goes round comes around too!!!

    ragu Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:24 AM

    Only civil servant and non political nominee is the secretary of northern provincial council chief ministers one haaaa

    dharmapala Wednesday, 19 February 2014 04:28 PM

    are you a democracy person , you are wlell knwn budhhist monk the worst communal

    true lankan Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:39 AM

    exactly that's what I am thinking!

    true lankan Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:41 AM

    well said.

    true lankan Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:43 AM

    I don't think he admitted. Just played a game for more votes keeping his ego.


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