ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has signed a 22nd amendment to the constitution in to law giving it effect from October 31, the parliament said.
The 22nd amendment aims to re-instate a constitutional council which will make several senior public service appointments giving at least partial independence to the public service.
Sri Lanka’s once apolitical public service began to lose its independence from the Republican constitution when a Permanent Secretaries to ministries and a civil service commission of peers which appointed them was abolished.
The public service lost it independence to act justly by the people after the 1978 constitution when the now ‘temporary’ secretaries were appointed at the pleasure of the President. In a remarkable development, they also lost office when the Prime Minister lost office leaving the public service headless.
Any ministry secretary who defied an arbitrary order by a minister was sent to a ‘pool’ or siberia.
The latest amendment also bars dual citizens from holding public office. (Colombo/Oct31/2022)