Jan 22, Colombo: The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has instructed the public officials to be impartial at the forthcoming local government elections.
Issuing a circular pertaining to activities of public officers and officers of the Provincial Public Service in connection with the Local Authority Election 2018 to the Secretaries to the President, Prime Minister, all ministries and All Chief Secretaries to Provincial Councils, the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Deepika Udagama urged all public officers to use the power according to the law.
Noting that the right to vote has been declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, the HRCSL said, therefore, when an election takes place all public officers in particular are bound to ensure that the election takes place in conformity with the Constitution and prevailing laws.
Public officers vested with responsibility should conduct their official duties in compliance with such laws and act fairly and impartially, the directive said.
"lf public officers vested with legal responsibility misuse such powers and act beyond legal boundaries, or fail to perform duties which they are duty bound to perform or delay the performance of their duties without justifiable reason, such action results in violation of fundamental rights," the HRCSL said warning that when public officers violate fundamental rights, in that manner, the Commission is vested with powers in terms of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act, No.21- of 1996 to take action against such officers.
Therefore, the Commission will take steps to monitor the conduct of public officers in order to ensure that the forthcoming election is conducted freely and fairly.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has also established an Election Complaints Desk to receive complaints related to the upcoming 2018 Local Government Election.