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UNP – President choosing to ignore the norms, Task Force is illegal

The UNP party headquarters in Pitakotte/EconomyNext

ECONOMYNEXT – The United National Party is raising concerns over the appointment of the Presidential Task Force to build a “Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society” as it is illegal.

It also said that during the election period the accepted practice is that no major policy decisions are taken nor new organisations are established other than when faced with grave circumstances.

“The formation of this broad-based Task Force once again shows that the President as choosing to ignore the norms,” it added.

A statement released by the party General-Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam points out that under the country’s laws it is only the President, Prime Minister or the Cabinet of Ministers can issue instructions to institutions under their purview.

The party states that in the event “This Task Force issues any instructions to government institutions they will fall under the category of illegal activities of social groups which are violating the law,” a group that the Task Force is expected to crack down on.

The statement also said that the functions allocated to this Task Force “are not of an urgent nature” and many of the issues which are to be tackled by it are matters of national policy which should be discussed during the election period, before being handled by a new government following the election.

It also questions as to why the heads of all the Intelligence Units are included when the Chief of National Intelligence whose task it is to coordinate the work of all the intelligence departments in the country is present.
(Colombo, June 10, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana