Sri Lanka to activate constitutional council sans non-political members

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka is planning to activate a constitutional council that will oversee the public service, with only political members and three non-political members still awaiting approval from parliament, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

The body has 10 members with 7 politicians.

The constitutional council with seven members can appoint a series of commissions to oversee the public service and police making them more independent from political interference, despite the lack of three non-political members Senaratne said.

Opposition members of parliament including Dinesh Gunewardene and Wimal Weerawansa raised objection in the house Monday over the appointment of three members of civil society and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe deferred the resolution.

The cabinet of ministers following discussions had proposed to go ahead with only seven members who do not require the approval of the parliament, he said.

Opposition members complained that the three civil society members had been decided by the ruling party without consulting others and they wanted a written assurance that it will not be repeated in future.

Wickremesinghe agreed to discuss the matter in at cabinet Thursday night and with the President and report back to parliament.

Sections of the opposition also scuttled moves by the administration to de-politicize the public service by appointing a majority of non-politicians.

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