Responding to President Maithripala Sirisena’s scathing attack on the Constitutional Council and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said unfair attacks on democratic institutions could lead to far-reaching issues in the long run.
Making a statement in Parliament this morning, Speaker Jayasuriya said the composition of the Council Council represented the opinions of every political party in Parliament.
Jayasuriya said Sirisena misrepresented facts when the latter said in Parliament yesterday that the Constitutional Council would not consider seniority when recommending appointments of judges.
“The Constitutional Council wishes to make it clear that the seniority will not be the only factor when it comes to appointments coming under the scope of the council. Every name we have approved thus far has been nominated by the President and we do not select candidates for judicial positions at will,” Jayasuriya said in his statement.
He also asserted that the President’s remark on the Constitutional Council rejecting the names of 12 judges was also wrong. “When about 3-4 names are nominated for the same position, the Constitutional Council selects only one name out of them. It would be unfair to describe this selection process as a rejection,” the Speaker explained.
He also stated that none of the members of the Council has so far been prevented from expressing their opinion and no political party holds majority power in the Council. “Every decision the Constitutional Council has made so far is a collective decision and the majority of names nominated by the President have been approved by the Council.”
Jayasuriya added that the Human Rights Council asked for an explanation on sending STF officers to the Agunakolapelessa prison as various parties expressed opinions on the matter. The Speaker said the HRCSL acted on the matter only to find out whether the due process was followed when deploying the STF.
Special Statement by the Hon. Speaker at the Commencement of Parliament
To read the Speaker’s full statement click here