Constitutional Council reviews issues, roles of Independent Commissions

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Constitutional Council convened Yesterday (11) under the patronage of its Chairman and former Speaker of House, Karu Jayasuriya at the Speaker’s official residence.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa along with former members of Parliament R. Sampanthan, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Bimal Ratnayake, and Thalatha Athukorala were present at the meeting.

In addition, civil society representatives of the Council, Javed Yousuf and Naganathan Selvakumaran, Secretary-General of the Constitutional Council and Secretary-General to the Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake as well as the Deputy Secretary-General of Parliament Neil Iddawela were also present.

At the commencement of the meeting, Chairman Karu Jayasuriya apprised the Council members of the progress of independent commissions.

It was discussed that while the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption has selected 200 Investigation Officers from a Competitive Examination and Interview held in 2018, the work of the Commission may be hindered due to the delay in extending letters of appointments to the selected Investigation officers.

Accordingly, the Council instructed the acting Secretary General of the Council Dhammika Dasanayaka to draw the Treasury’s attention to the matter.

Chairman Karu Jayasuriya also took the opportunity in bringing the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Constitutional Council was of the opinion that the Chairpersons of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption and the Police Commission should discuss and sort out the matter concerning the transfers of the police officers affiliated to the Bribery Commission.

The progress achieved by the Human Rights Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Finance Commission was also discussed at the meeting.

The attention of the Constitutional Council was also drawn to the difficulties faced by the Provincial Councils in carrying out their day to day activities as the Finance Commission has not made available the provisions which have been already approved.

The Constitutional Council also appreciated the role carried out by the Elections Commission in fulfilling its responsibilities in the face of difficult conditions and expressed full confidence in the Commission.

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