Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya.
Request to immediately stop the distribution of religious attire ( Sil Redhi) using state funds
A program to distribute religious attire (Sil Redhi) amounting to 1000 Million LKR across the Island in a manner that supports the UPFA presidential candidate is underway.
We urge you to take action to immediately halt this program of distributing 800,000 packs of Sil Redhi using an exorbitant amount of state funds.
Each portion of attire is 5 Meters long. The order has been given to 3 private companies charging an amount between 125.00 LKR to 160.00 LKR. This payment has been authorized by Venerable Vatinapaha Somananda Thero through the presidential secretariat. The finances have being obtained by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The distribution of the above mentioned packs are currently underway under the supervision of a Bhikku organization belonging to the Venerable Vatinapaha Somananda Thero. Certain temples have been assigned up to 6000 packs while others will receive 1000, 2000 or 500 packs according to the given instructions. Certain temples have refused to accept these clothing materials while others have questioned why the government realized their existence only during election times.
According to the provisions within the circular distributed by you; as the Elections Commissioner and the Election Law, the distribution of free goods using public funds during a time when an election has been announced is illegal. Hence we urge you to immediately halt this illegal operation to be held on the upcoming Poya day.
Transparency International Sri Lanka