Ind. Commissions in place by October: Karu

Published : 8:32 am  September 17, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera
All ten Independent Commissions would be appointed and would be functioning by October after the Constitutional Council (CC) that appoints members to Independent Commissions, was approved by Parliament next Tuesday (22), Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday.DM_20150917_A001-7

Mr. Jayasuriya told the Daily Mirror that the appointment of three members nominated by the civil society to the CC, namely Sarvodaya Movement leader Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special UN representative for Children and Armed Conflict and former Attorney General Shibly Aziz were scheduled to be ratified by Parliament next Tuesday (22).

“On Monday (21) the Parliamentary Sub Committee on the CC will meet to review the names of members proposed to the CC and when Parliament meets on the following day the three members nominated by the civil society are expected to be approved by Parliament,” he said.

“Thus, the duly constituted CC will meet for the first time next Wednesday (23) to establish the Independent Commissions,” Jayasuriya said.

Mr. Jayasuriya said the CC would give priority to appoint members to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the National Police Commission, the Elections Commission and the Public Service Commission as they have a highly influential and direct bearing on the public and society,” Jayasuriya said.

“The Prime Minister, the Speaker and Opposition Leader are compulsory or ex-officio members of the CC, while the President and Prime Minister name one member each. The Opposition Leader can nominate one member from the communities to which the ex-officio members do not belong. Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Champika Ranawaka has been nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena as his member, and Justice and Budhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has been nominated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Minister John Seneviratne and JVP’s Vijitha Herath are other members of the CC from the communities to which the ex-officio members do not belong. The CC is mandated to constitute and activate ten Independent Commissions by appointing members and chairmen to each Commission, namely the Elections Commission, the Public Service Commission, National Police Commission, the Audit Service Commission, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the Finance Commission, the Delimitation Commission, the National Procurement Commission and the University Grants Commission. Speaker Jayasuriya said Parliament has requested civil organizations and trade chambers and other social organisations to propose names of suitable and qualified persons with unblemished standing to be appointed as members of Independent Commissions to the Secretary General of Parliament as early as possible. The Constitutional Council was first introduced in 2001 under the 17th Amendment by the UNP, which was first hailed as a step in the right direction to prune the powers of the all-powerful Executive Presidency.

However, the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in 2010 replaced the 17th Amendment with the 18th Amendment, effectively ending the tenure of the Constitutional Council and replaced it with the Parliamentary Council.