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Unauthorized national awards, honorary titles to be stopped

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President’s Secretary directs officials to pursue legal action:
Two new awards gazetted through Ministerial Note:

The Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake has directed the initiation of legal action against the unauthorized conferment and utilization of national awards and honorary titles.

The Presidential Secretariat is actively overseeing instances where individuals and non-governmental entities are bestowing awards, certificates, and titles falsely representing the prestigious national honours granted by the President to distinguished Sri Lankans. These recognitions are traditionally bestowed through a formal process meticulously evaluated by designated authorities.

Emphasizing the imperative to promptly cease the misappropriation of national award titles by unauthorized entities, the President’s Secretary underscores the potential for such unauthorized actions to inflict considerable injustice and disrespect upon the genuinely esteemed Sri Lankan recipients of these honours.

The establishment of the National Awards in 1986, as outlined in Extraordinary Gazette No. 387/3 dated 02.03.1986, was followed by subsequent amendments detailed in Government Gazette No. 627/8 dated 12-09-1990, Government Gazette No. 863/4 dated 20-03-1995, and Government Gazette No. 1535/12 dated 08-02-2008.

Furthermore, the introduction of two new awards, namely “Vishishta Kaushalyabhimani” and “Vishishta Republica Abhimani,” was ratified through Ministerial Note No. PS/NC/ACD/95/2023 presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe on February 18, 2023.

The process for nominations for National Awards is facilitated by Provincial Governors and Cabinet Ministers. Recommendations for the selection of awardees, both Sri Lankan and non-Sri Lankan individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to Sri Lanka, are evaluated by a Selection Committee appointed by the President and chaired by the Prime Minister’s Secretary. Plans are underway to devise a new application system to engage eligible Sri Lankans in the nomination process.

Subsequently, following the President’s endorsement, a panel of academic experts appointed by the President’s Secretary convenes to assess and select the awardees. The names of the chosen recipients will be officially published in a gazette, and the awards will be presented by the President on designated occasions, which may include Independence Day, National Hero’s Day, and ceremonies honouring non-Sri Lankan recipients.

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