Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero has been appointed as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force and Senior Assistant Secretary to the President Jeewanthi Senanayake has been appointed as its Secretary.
The other members are Prof. Dayananda Banda, Prof. Shanthinandana Wijesinghe, Prof. Sumedha Siriwardena, NG Sujith Panditharatne, Attorney-at-Law Iresh Seneviratne, Attorney-at-Law Sanjaya Marambe, Eranda Navaratne, Pani Wewala, Moulavi Mohamed, Lecturer Mohamed Inthikab, Kaleel Rahuman and Asis Nisardeen.
The responsibility of this Presidential Task Force is to study the concept of one country one law and draft the bill for this purpose.
In addition, the task force is tasked with studying the drafts and amendments that have been prepared by the Ministry of Justice in this regard and submitting proposals, if any, as appropriate and incorporating amendments to the relevant draft.
The committee should submit a report to the President once a month and the final report should be submitted on or before February 28 next year, the relevant gazette notification said.
However, there is criticism over the appointment of Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, as he was convicted of contempt of court.
Gnanasara Thera was sentenced on August 08, 2018 to four years in prison on four counts of contempt of court and later given a six year suspended sentence by the Court of Appeal.
The Attorney General had filed the charge sheet against Ven. Gnanasara Thera following a complaint lodged with the Court of Appeal by Ranga Dissanayake, a former Magistrate of the Homagama Court and the current Chief Magistrate of Colombo.
The allegations were that when the case pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda was taken up in the Homagama Magistrate's Court in January 2016, he had insulted the judiciary by behaving in a riotous manner in the court premises and had insulted the State Counsel.
However, Gnanasara Thera said that he was not guilty of the charge.
Exercising the powers vested in him, then President Maithripala Sirisena granted a presidential pardon to Ven. Gnanasara Thera on May 23, 2019.
The relevant gazette notification is below.