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Aluthgamage is President’s nominee to the Constitutional Council

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has nominated Mahindananda Aluthgamage as his nominee to the Constitutional Council (CC), the Presidential Secretariat has announced.

Aluthgamage, the current Agriculture Minister, is the fourth person to be appointed to the ten-member CC which plays a crucial role in governance.

The other three are Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa who are appointed by virtue of office.

The Speaker is the Chair of the Council.

Of the remaining six, five are appointed by the President based on names that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition can agree on and one person from Parliament usually from a minority party.

Two places are usually reserved for members of civil society.

The CC monitors the working of the independent commission, approves key appointments and has to prevent the politicization of the public service.

Aluthgamage has recently attracted controversy, first calling returning migrant workers from Kuwait “bombs” because some were infected with Covid, and also creating a stir by stating that the 2011 World Cup final was “fixed.”

Aluthgamage was sports minister at the time the game was played in India, where the host country beat Sri Lanka to lift the cup.

Police began investigating the allegation but the probe was dropped mid-way.  (Colombo, August 26, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana