A cabinet decision is behind the circular issued by the public administration secretary against accepting deposits from candidates at the local government polls, ‘Irida Mawbima’ reports.
The newspaper has obtained the details under the right to information act.
Contrary to prime minister Dinesh Gunawardena’s claim in Parliament on January 17, ministers had actually issued an order (23/M.I.S.C. (001) to the ministry secretary Neil Bandara Hapuhinna to that effect.
It also instructs him to consider funding the LG polls once the Election Commission reaches consensus on holding the election.
Furthermore, the public administration secretary had not apologized over his having written to returning officers against accepting deposits.
The ministry says he had not tendered an apology as per cabinet decision 23/M.I.S.C.O. (001) taken on January 10, 2023.
Election commissioner general Saman Sri Ratnayake, in letter L.A.E./2023/13 dated January 13, 2023, says secretary Hapuhinna tenders an apology over the circular he had issued.
On January 23, cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told the media there was no need for action against the ministry secretary, and claimed no impact had occurred as per the law.
The Election Commission is yet to respond to an inquiry under the right to information act if secretary Hapuhinna had actually tendered an apology.