Lottery Board transfer is a violation of the law - TISL
June 19, 2017 08:28 am
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) stated that they are very disappointed regarding the gazette notification that was issued, which declared the transfer of the National Lottery Board (NLB) to the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The organization has requested for the officials involved to re issue a gazette notification transferring the Lottery Board back to the Ministry of Finance, the ministry which should be responsible for the board by law, so that the confusing matter could be settled as soon as possible.
TISL stated that the Finance Act which was compiled in 1963, and later amended in 1997 and 1998, defined the NLB being as an asset overlooked by the Minister of Finance of the country.
With the powers vested upon the President by the 43rd clause in the constitution, the President has acted accordingly by setting up the Ministry of Finance and Media, while appointing Minister Mangala Samaraweera as the Minister of Finance and Media.
Hence, under the constitution in work at present, the NLB should be under the Ministry of Finance, overlooked by Mangala Samaraweera, and that the transfer of the board to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is violating the law.
Executive Director of TISL (Transparency International Sri Lanka) Asoka Obeyesekere stated that the assignment of the NLB to another ministry apart from the Ministry of Finance is incorrect by law and that it contradicts the intentions of the Parliament when they initially passed the Act.
TISL added that if the NLB was transferred back to its rightful ministry, the idea of ministers using national assets for personal benefits could be diminished from society.
TISL recalls the considerable work carried out by Prof. Siri Hettige, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Colombo, who through the Campaign for Sound National Policies, highlighted the appropriate ministries to be created, with all agencies and departments identified to be placed under their respective ministries in early 2015. This advice was provided to H.E. President Sirisena.
It is incumbent on H.E. President Sirisena, as Head of the Cabinet, to ensure that steps are taken to rectify such errors. This can be done by ensuring that the National Lotteries Board is re-gazetted and brought under the purview of the Finance Minister, in adherence to its statute.