President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the directive by the Elections Commission to stop the training programme for graduate recruits to the government service was wrong.
Speaking to Newspaper Editors and electronic media heads at the Presidential Secretariat he said that they would be writing to the Commission soon explaining about it. “I don’t understand why a training program should stop. Their appointment letters had been posted. It’s a training program given for the government recruits. I don’t understand why it should stop. The appointments were not political and they were not chosen on political criteria,” he said.
The President said that there should be a basis for what the Elections Commission had done. “I don’t see any basis for it and we would be writing to them stating our position,” President Rajapaksa said.
When asked about the upcoming general election and as to why the government was seeking a two thirds mandate, the President said that there were many obstacles created in the form of constitutional amendments brought during the previous regime that hinders delivering promises given to the people. He said that a two thirds majority was needed to change such constitutional obstacles and fulfill the mandate given at the Presidential election.
He said there should be separation of powers between the different branches of the state for smooth governance and the powers of the executive and the legislative should not overlap with each other. “When that happens it is difficult to govern and those who were instrumental in bringing these constitutional provisions too later realized it,” he said.
He questioned certain provisions in the 19th Amendment and asked whether the commissions created by the 19th Amendment were actually independent.
“We could see that in the way some members of the elections commission acted during the last election. One member was writing his opinions in the newspapers,” he said.
He questioned the reason to have an in Independent Police Commission which in itself was politically appointed. “How can a commission that is appointed politically be more independent than the IGP who himself has about 30-35 years of service in the department,” he asked.
Speaking about the government’s withdrawal from the co-sponsorship of the Geneva Resolution, President Rajapaksa said that it was done due the violation of the country’s sovereignty through that and the Western countries too would realize it. He said even the United States completely withdrew from the UNHRC calling it a cesspit.
When asked about the progress of investigations into the Easter Sunday attack, President Rajapaksa said that it was progressing well. He said that there was a commission appointed by the Previous President inquiring into it at the time he assumed duties. He said that He asked the Cardinal whether he was satisfied with it and whether any changes were needed to it. The President said that the Cardinal had been satisfied by the progress made by it and had not suggested any changes. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that apart from the investigations, they had taken stringent steps to enhance security and curtail extremist activities, thus ensuring security to all.