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Udaya Gammanpila on the role of the CC

Udaya Gammanpila 700 04

UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila has observed that they do not hold that the seniority should always be given the priority when appointing persons to such posts. Occasions may arise for other criteria such as the efficiency to be considered.

He added that the people who were denied such posts have every right to know as to why they were rejected. The public, too, should know about it. But the CC has so far failed to inform them.

He was speaking during the Adjournment Debate on the conduct of the CC on Thursday. He said:

" The members of the Constitutional Council (CC) appointed by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and the then Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan must quit immediately to enable the Premier and new Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to fill those vacancies. 5 out of 10 members of the CC had been jointly appointed by the Premier and the Opposition Leader.

Now, the legitimate Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa attends the CC meetings. However, the members who were appointed by the Premier and the then Opposition Leader Sampanthan are still there. This is nothing but a grave malformation. They should resign and let the Premier and new Opposition Leader to fill their vacancies.

There were doubts as regards the way the CC had appointed the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police and Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

For example in February 2016, the post of Attorney General fell vacant. The tradition is to fill this vacancy by appointing the next most senior officer at the Attorney General’s Department who is the Solicitor General or a SC Judge. In 2016, Solicitor General was Suhada Gamlapath. But the CC did not appoint him. The CC did not even appoint a SC Judge for the post. The CC accommodated Jayantha Jayasuriya, who was a junior officer at the Department at that time. No one knows why Gamlath was deprived of the post.

This same thing happened when appointing the IGP in the same year. Pujith Jayasundera was appointed the IGP while Deputy Inspector General of Police S.M Wickremasinghe was the most senior officer at the department. Why wasn’t DIG Wickremasinghe appointed as the IGP? No one knows the answer, not even Wickremasinghe.

Also, when appointing the Chairman of the High Court of Sri Lanka, four senior Judges were overlooked and a junior Judge was given the post. What was the criterian the CC followed there? No one knows.

Some judges had doubts that their religion played a certain role the appointments to the higher posts. One should not be denied an opportunity to secure a promotion just because of that person is a Buddhist. Now these judges have doubts that they would not be promoted because they are Buddhists.

Therefore, the CC should reveal its criteria which they follow when appointing someone to the above posts and ensure transparency. Otherwise, people will be suspicious about the judicial system.”

 

 

 

 

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