Legal Action Initiated Against Unauthorized National Awards

February 24, Colombo (LNW): In a decisive move, Secretary to the President, Saman Ekanayake, has instructed the initiation of legal proceedings against the unauthorized conferment and use of national awards and honorary titles. The Presidential Secretariat is actively monitoring instances where individuals and non-governmental entities falsely present awards, certificates, and titles purporting to be prestigious national honors bestowed by the President to distinguished Sri Lankans.

These recognitions, traditionally awarded through a meticulous formal process evaluated by designated authorities, are now subject to scrutiny as the President’s Secretary stresses the urgency of putting an end to the misappropriation of national award titles by unauthorized entities. Such unauthorized actions are deemed to inflict considerable injustice and disrespect upon genuinely esteemed Sri Lankan recipients of these honors.

The establishment of the National Awards in 1986, followed by subsequent amendments detailed in various Government Gazettes, underscores the official and regulated nature of these honors. President Ranil Wickremesinghe further ratified the introduction of two new awards, namely “Vishishta Kaushalyabhimani” and “Vishishta Republica Abhimani,” through a Ministerial Note on February 18, 2023.

The nomination process for National Awards involves Provincial Governors and Cabinet Ministers, with recommendations evaluated by a Selection Committee appointed by the President and chaired by the Prime Minister’s Secretary. Plans are in progress to introduce a new application system to actively engage eligible Sri Lankans in the nomination process.

After the President’s endorsement, a panel of academic experts appointed by the President’s Secretary assesses and selects the awardees. The official publication of chosen recipients occurs through a gazette, and the awards are ceremonially presented by the President on designated occasions, including Independence Day, National Hero’s Day, and events honoring non-Sri Lankan recipients.

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Source:: LNW English