An indirect response to United Nations Human Rights Committee recommendation that 18 Amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka should be repealed President Rajapaksa has said that his government introduced the 18th amendment to the constitution, to further strengthen political stability and sustain the rapid development, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said, according to government mouth piece CDN (04 Oct).
But Rajapaksa has not responded to the main criticism of the HRC that 18 A has taken away the crucial checks and balances to the constitution. The HRC concluding observations No 5 was very clear why 18 A should be repealed:
‘’The Committee is concerned by the 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which, inter alia, discontinues the Constitutional Council and empowers the President to dismiss or appoint members of the judiciary and other independent bodies. Furthermore, it is concerned at the impeachment of the former Chief Justice in January 2013 under circumstances that raised serious doubts about its consistency with basic principles of due process and judicial independence. (arts. 2 and 14)
The State party should:
(a) Repeal the 18th Amendment to the Constitution;
(b) Take legislative and other measures to ensure transparent and impartial processes for appointments to the judiciary and other independent bodies; and,
(c) Take concrete measures to ensure the protection of members of its judiciary from improper influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, including those of the executive and/or legislature of the State party.’’
President Rajapaksa has cited Forbes Investment Magazine to prove his point.
“Now, a rapidly improving economy combined with political stability has made the country a very popular destination among both local and foreign investors. This achievement has been widely appreciated and even the Forbes Investment Magazine published in USA in a recent article had duly acknowledged this fact,” President Rajapaksa has said.
Rajapaksa’s point was that 18A has brought political stability instead of democratic governance and rule of law.