Samurdhi Officers in the 3 provinces where elections are held have raised objections to a proposal by the Election commissioner.
A letter sent by the Commissioner to District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and other Administrative Officers in the 3 provinces suggests that Samurdhi officers should report 3 times a day to their respective Divisional Secretariats.
The All Ceylon Samurdhi Development, Agricultural Research and Production Assistant Officers Association General Secretary S.A.D. Jagath Kumara objected the Election Commissioner’s move during a media briefing held in Colombo this afternoon.
He said that the Election Commissioner has no power under the Election Act to give government servants instructions adamantly.
Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had sent the particular letter with regard to the Samurdhi Officers’ sign-in behavior to the District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and other Administrative authorities last Thursday.
The Election Commissioner says in his letter to authorities that the Human Rights Commission received complaints that a few Executive officers, Samurdhi Managers, Samurdhi Development Officers and certain recently recruited graduates are engaged illegitimately in political campaigns.
However the All Ceylon Samurdhi Development, Agricultural Research and Production Assistant Officers Association General Secretary S.A.D. Jagath Kumara raised his objections during a media briefing this afternoon.
Meanwhile the Economic Development Ministry says in a press release that rumors are spreading that Samurdhi officers are engaged in political campaigns.
When contacted Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya for his comments on the developments, he confirmed that he sent the particular letter to all authorities in the 3 provinces.
Complaints have been made that certain government officers are engaged in political campaigns during duty hours or without taking leave.
The Election Commissioner informed authorities that the aim of his proposal is to prevent Samurdhi officers being used by politicians in their campaigns.