President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a new Task Force to ensure a disciplined, virtuous and lawful society through the proclamation of a Gazette issued on June 2, 2020.
The 13 member Task Force is made up mostly of serving and retired military personnel and will be chaired by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne.
The Task Force is authorised to investigate and issue directions as may be necessary in connection with the functions entrusted to it, which as listed in the Gazette are:
- Taking necessary immediate steps to curb the illegal activities of social groups which are violating the law which is emerging as harmful to the free and peaceful existence of society at present in some places of the country
- Take necessary measures for prevention from drug menace, prevent entry of drugs from abroad through ports and airports and to fully eradicate drug trafficking in the country and to prevent other social illnesses caused by drug abuse
- Take necessary measures to take legal action against persons responsible for the illegal and antisocial activities conducting in Sri Lanka while locating in other countries
- To investigate and prevent any illegal and antisocial activities in and around prisons
Further, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also, through the Gazette authorises the Task Force to “issue instructions or request that all Government Officers and other persons requesting assistance in the provision of services comply with such instructions.”
All Government Officers and others are instructed to provide all possible assistance and information requested, while the Task Force is required to report to the President all “cases of delay or default on the part of any Public Officer or Officer of any Ministry, Government Department, State Corporation or other similar institution in the discharge of duties and responsibilities assigned to such public officer or such institution.”
In its preamble, the Gazette states that as per the policy statement ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour,” the government is committed to creating a disciplined and virtuous society which will be respectful of the law. It goes on to state that security is key to establishing economic strategies that would help develop the country and that the well-being of the people and building a civilized society is achieved through equal protection of the law.
The Gazette also states that a major contributory factor to the economic and social decline is the widespread use of drugs from which the country must be liberated.
Members of the Task Force are:
Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence , Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Vice Admiral Piyal de Silva, Esquire Commander of Sri Lanka Navy, Air Marshal Sumangala Dias, Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force, Mr. C.D. Wickremarathne, Acting Inspector General of Police, Major General (Retired) Vijitha Ravipriya , Director General of Customs, Major General (Retired) Jagath Alwis , Chief of the National Intelligence Service, Major General Suresh Salley, Director of State Intelligence Service, Major General A. S. Hewavitharana, Director of Army Intelligence Unit, Captain S.J. Kumara , Director of Navy Intelligence Unit, Air Commodore M.D.J. Wasage, Director of Air Force Intelligence Unit, T. C. A. Dhanapala, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Special Task Force of Police and Waruna Jayasundara, Deputy Inspector-General of Police