The Government has once against nominated two persons to the Constitutional Council (CC) whose previous nominations caused consternation among good governance advocates.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, despite her seemingly unimpeachable stature as the former Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict (2006-2012), has been caught redhanded trying to suppress a report on human rights violations in order to get the Government go-ahead necessary to secure the plum UN post and thereafter lying about it.
Another nominee, Dr A. T. Ariyaratne, also stands accused of reserving key positions in his NGO, Sarvodaya, for close members of the family, the kind of practice that the Government strongly condemned the Rajapaksa regime for promoting.
While both were nominated to the CC, their appointments were not ratified due to the hasty dissolution of Parliament by President Sirisena.
Coomaraswamy stirred much controversy towards the end of her tenure as the Chairperson of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Council over an unpublished report on human rights violations that were widely condemned. The said report was commissioned during the time she sat on the Council. The report, put together by T. Suntheralingam, a retired judge, who acted as the Special Rapporteur of an inquiry into high profile violations including the killing of five students in Trincomalee in January 2006.
The Government which is taking a lot of flak for appointing a jumbo cabinet which includes several unsavory individuals as well as some who were rejected by the people and later smuggled in through the National Lists, missed an opportunity to redeem itself, political observers say.