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* Sri Lanka Public Service Commission rejects to probe Defense Secretary's participation in politics
Sat, Mar 1, 2014, 10:01 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka major opposition United National Party (UNP) general secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the Public Services Commission had rejected an appeal to probe an incident of senior public employee Gotabhaya Rajapaksa attending a political meeting.

UNP sought a probe against the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over his participation at the launch of propaganda campaign of Udaya Gammanpila, the Colombo district United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) group leader of the team of candidates for Western Provincial Council.

UNP argued that the senior public servant Gotabhaya Rajapakse could not participate in politics according to the establishment code of the public servants.

The UNP general secretary said that the Public Services Commission had informed him in writing that probing the complaint was not in its scope.

Attanayake argued that the Commission had powers to probe the disciplinary issues of the public servants and the letter of the commission raised questions over its integrity.

Gammanpila recently apologized to the Elections Commissioner for the Defense Secretary's participation at the event to launch his election campaign but said that the Defense Secretary had the right to attend such events as he was a political appointee and not a public servant.

"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," the ruling party candidate has said.

However, the Election Commissioner was of the view that it was inappropriate for a Ministry Secretary to engage in election campaigning.

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