Two separate Presidential Task Forces to build a Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society and, for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, have been established.
Secretary to the President, P. B. Jayasundera issued the relevant gazette notifications on June 02, 2020, under the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The proclamation on the establishment of the Task Force to build a Secure Country has emphasized that it is the most prominent responsibility of the government to give priority to National Security and create a virtuous, disciplined and lawful society which respects the rule of law and justice as it was stated in the policy statement “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.
It has been recognized that the security of the country is a key factor in establishing economic strategies aimed at the development of a country. The equal protection of the law should be given to all to build a civilized society for the well-being of the people.
‘It is essential to liberate the entire society from the drug rampant spreading all over the society including the children who are considered as the future of a country is also a major factor in the social decline couple with the economic decline. Therefore, the President considering all these factors the Presidential Task Force to build a Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society was established’, said in the gazette notification .
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne has been appointed as the Chairman of the Task Force, and Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr. D.M.S. Dissanayake has been appointed as its Secretary.
The other members are: Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Vice Admiral Piyal de Silva , 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.
The Presidential Task Force is entrusted with the tasks of 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. Taking 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 are also the responsibilities of the Task Force.
To take legal action against persons responsible for the illegal and antisocial activities conducting in Sri Lanka while locating in other countries and investigate and prevent any illegal and antisocial activities in and around prisons are among other responsibilities vested on the Task Force.
The establishment of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province was proclaimed via a separate Gazette paper.
‘Sri Lanka has inherited a great and proud history. The archaeological heritage of a country reflects its unique identity and historical evolution. These invaluable heritages had been continuously threatened and vandalized by both natural and man-made causes. Sri Lanka has entered into both local and international conventions which dictate preserving these heritages’, the gazette notification has stated.
Archaeological Chakravarthi Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Task Force. The Chief Prelate for the Northern and Eastern provinces, Chief Sanganayake of Thamankaduwa Direction, and Chief Incumbent of Arisimalai Aranya Ven. Panamure Thilakawansha Thero, Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Senarath Bandara Dissanayake, Director-General of Archaeology, Ms. Chandra Herath, Land Commissioner General, Ms. A.L.S.C. Perera, Surveyor General, Prof. Raj Kumar Somadeva, Senior Lecturer, University of Kelaniya, Prof. Kapila Gunawardena, Medical Faculty, University of Peradeniya, Deshabandu Thennakoon, Senior DIG, Western Province, H.E.M.W.G. Dissanayake, Provincial Land Commissioner, Eastern Province, Dilith Jayaweera, Chairman of Derana Media Network have been appointed as other members.
The Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province has been tasked to:
- Identify sites with archaeological importance in the Eastern province.
- Identify and implement and appropriate program for the management of archaeological heritage by conserving and restoring such identified sites and antiquities.
- Identify the extent of the land that should be allocated for such archeological sites and take necessary measures to allocate them properly and legally.
- Preserve the culture value of sites of archaeological importance and promote the uniqueness of Sri Lanka, both locally and internationally, and make recommendations for the promotion of such heritages.