Sri Lanka’s constitutional council to function without civil representatives

sri lankan-parliament

June 11, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s constitutional council will be able to meet and function even without filing the vacant seats of the ten member constitutional council, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senarathne said.

The Parliament is yet to agree on the three civil society representatives that has been nominated by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

“Since seven members can be considered as the majority of the council, it may function as the constitutional council even appointing much awaited independent commissions.” Senarathne said.

The Speaker, Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are considered as official members of the council.

One Parliamentarian should be appointed by the President and the President has nominated Minister Champika Ranawaka as his Parliamentarian.

Apart from that, another five persons should be appointed by the President on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; of whom two persons should be Parliamentarians.

Accordingly, Prime Minister has nominated Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Opposition leader has nominated Parliamentarian John Senavirathene.

Sarvodaya Founder Dr. A.T.Ariyaratne, former Under-Secretary General of the UN Professor Radhika Coomaraswamy and retired former Court of Appeal Judge Justice A.W.A. Salam has been nominated as the other three non-politically affiliated civil society representatives of the Council.

However when contacted opposition Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardhana told LBO that they are opposing the appointment of ministers to the constitutional council.

Gunawardhana also spoke against the government’s decision to operate the council without completing its appointments.

“If they want to do it in that way, why they sent 19th amendment to the supreme court while making a big fuss in the Parliament. It seems that minister Senarathne is making different statements now.” Gunawardhana told LBO.