Sri Lanka Brief
FeaturesNewsPresident Sirisena in conflict with the Constitution Council; Has referred back the list of nominees to the OMP; CC to stand by its decision

President Sirisena in conflict with the Constitution Council; Has referred back the list of nominees to the OMP; CC to stand by its decision

by

(SLB/19th Dec 2017) According to informed sources president Sirisena has not approved the nominated  list of commissioners  by the Constitutional Council (CC) for the Office of the Mission Persons (OMP). Instead he as referred the list back to the CC for a review.

The CC had finalised the selections of nearly 100 applicants to posts of 7 commissioners of the OMP and has forwarded the list of names to the president some 10 days ago. According to the sources the CC has decided to stand by the list of nominees it has made and not changed any of the nominations. By 23rd of this month the nominations of the CC to OMP will come in to effect.

It is in this context that the President Sirisena has now publicly criticised the Constitutional Council, saying that he does not approve its all decisions.

According to political grapevine  the CC nominees to the OMP include a retired justice who headed a Rajapkasa appointed commission on disappearances, a retired military officer, a Tamil female human rights activist, former Colombo university professes who the head of human rights programme and a known Muslim lawyer.

Speaking at the Annual National Meeting of Judicial Officers Association On Sunday the 18th Sirisena has said: ( as reported by the Daily Mirror)

Everybody knows the power of the President after the 19th Amendment of the Constitution. The Constitutional Council takes the final decisions about the promotions. I always tried my level best to get impartial decisions during my tenure in the last three years. I dedicated myself towards it. When some problems arose, I checked and clarified matters with the Attorney General. I got recommendations from the Chief Justice and the Judicial Services Commission. I did so to avoid any crisis situations. After getting these recommendations I sent the names to the Constitutional Council. There are times that I have not agreed with the constitutional council. Sometimes I agreed with them. I do not like to speak much about it. I think if there is an issue that hampers the promotion of an officer on disciplinary grounds, it is fair that such information is conveyed to me in writing before the recommendation of such names are made to me.”

According to the 19th Amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka Constitutional nomination will automatically come in to force after 14 days notwithstanding whether the president approve it or not: “ In the event of the President failing to make the necessary appointments within such period of fourteen days–

(a) the persons recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as members of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed as the members of the Commissions; and

(b) the person whose name appears first in the list of names recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as the Chairman of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed the Chairman of the respective Commission,”

Earlier media reported that the Sinhala nationalist – Marxist JVP member of the CC has opposed the nomination of long time human rights activist and NGO leader Dr. Nimalka Fernando to the OMP.

This is what the 19th amendment says on the CC and appointing members to the independent commissions.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Council to recommend to the President fit and proper persons for appointment as Chairmen or members of the Commissions specified in the Schedule to this Article, whenever the occasion for such appointments arises, and such recommendations shall endeavour to ensure that such recommendations reflect the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society, including gender.

In the case of the Chairmen of such Commissions, the Council shall recommend three persons for appointment, and the President shall appoint one of the persons recommended as Chairman.

(4) The President shall appoint the Chairman and the members of the Commissions specified in the Schedule to this Article, within fourteen days of receiving the recommendations of the Council for such appointments. In the event of the President failing to make the necessary appointments within such period of fourteen days–

(a) the persons recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as members of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed as the members of the Commissions; and

(b) the person whose name appears first in the list of names recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as the Chairman of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed the Chairman of the respective Commission,

with effect from the date of expiry of such period.

Back to Top