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Constitutional Council to discuss Independent Commissions

ECONOMYNEXT – The Constitutional Council is to meet tomorrow at the residence of former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to primarily discuss the performance and progress of the Independent Commissions.

An announcement by the Director Parliamentary Communications Division Shan Wijetunge said that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa and other ex-officio members would attend.

The current administration under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not made it a secret that it is not happy with the existence of the Commissions which had greatly put restrictions on the President’s powers.

One of the promises the President has made is that if his party were to win a mandate to change the constitution he would abolish the commissions.

The Constitutional Council is responsible for appointing the members of the Commissions and also reviewing its work.

Human Rights activists and democracy-watchers have commented that some of the commissions have not performed independently after President Rajapaksa was elected.

They point especially to the National Police Commission for not protecting senior CID officers from being forced out of office.

The other members of the Council are Mahinda Samarasinghe, R. Sampanthan, Thalatha Atukorale, Bimal Rathnayaka, Jayantha Dhanapala, Naganathan Sellvakumaran and Javed Yusuf. (Colombo, 22 April 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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