‘Lalith’s verdict encourages well performing officials’

The court sentence served on a former Secretary to the President who was a member of the highest echelon of the Public Service will induce all other public servants to perform their duties well in the interest of the people without succumbing to the pressure exerted by politicians in future, Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.

He said Lalith Weeratunge was a highly respected public servant and no one will rejoice at the punishment meted out to him.

“But, he has to bear it up if he has committed a wrong at the instance of the former rulers. It is illegal to distribute Sil cloth during an election using public funds amounting to Rs.600 million,” State Minister Wijewardene added.

Wijewardene said he agrees with Minister John Amaratunga’s statement that it is regrettable to see a public official being given such a sentence. But everyone should bow their heads to a court decision.

The State Defence Minister made this observation to the media after laying the foundation stone for a Daham Pasala building at Pilikuttuwa Viharaya, Gampaha.

Wijewardene said their endeavour was to guide the country along the correct path. This could be accomplished because the government had weathered all the initial problems encountered during the last two years.

Asked whether it is not a problem to see politicians and high state officials sent to prison transferred immediately to the prison hospital when normal prisoners were denied that privilege, State Minister Wijewardene said he too agreed with this argument.

“They hoped to have discussions with the President and the Prime Minister regarding this matter,” he said. 

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