Secretaries to two State Ministries have been appointed through the Cabinet, exceeding the powers vested in the Constitution to the President to appoint Secretaries to Ministries.

Cabinet Secretary S. Amarasekera announced the appointment of the Secretaries by issuing the Extraordinary Gazette notification No. 2162/20.

According to the gazette notification, B.M.S Balasuriya has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Welfare and S.T. Kodikara has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Housing with effect from 14th of February.

The gazette notification further stated that these appointments were made in accordance with the provisions of Article 55 (2) of the Constitution.

However, Article 55 (2) of the constitution states that "the appointment, transfer, disciplinary control and dismissal of all Heads of Departments shall vest, in the Cabinet of Ministers." As such, there is no mention in the constitution of the power the Cabinet has with regard to the appointment of secretaries.
When a former senior Ministry secretary was inquired, the official pointed out that according to the provisions of the constitution, only the president can appoint secretaries and not the Cabinet.

He also said that if the Cabinet of Ministers has made such appointments, it would be illegal and exceed the powers vested on the president by the constitution.

The incumbent government has set up State Ministries in addition to the Cabinet Ministries and the secretaries of those ministries have been appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa up until this latest appointment of secretaries by the Cabinet. 
Furthermore, the secretaries who were appointed by the president received their appointment letters which were signed by the Secretary to the President.