Colombo Telegraph

President Appoints “Bunch Of Men” As President’s Counsels

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a bunch of all male legal professionals as President’s Counsels.

President Sirisena and first lady | File photo

Out of the twenty-five male legal professionals elevated to President’s Counsel, two of them, TNA spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran MP and Upul Jayasuriya, the chairman of the Board of Investments (BOI), had not applied through the formal channels. However, a number of senior female legal professionals – some of them with over thirty years of consecutive service in the bar – had also applied as per existing rules. It appears that they were not given due consideration.

When asked on the exclusion of eminent women who had applied, gender justice activist Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana said “In a government that presents itself as an advocate of yahapalanaya (good governance), and as promoting gender equality and women’s representation in the professions (including electoral politics), it is a cause for grave concern that such equality measures do not seem to apply to the senior-most women in the legal profession. As it is usually done in countering critiques of this government, one can argue that similar all-male appointments were made under the Rajapaksa administration. However, in voting for good governance, many Sri Lankans expected a change, this certainly is not the ‘change’ voters expected. This is a telling example of continuing business as usual in an extremely patriarchal power structure”.

The appointed members are as follows:

  1. J.C. Weliamuna
  2. M.A. Sumanthiran
  3. Upul Jayasuriya
  4. Daya Pelpola
  5. Neville Abeyratne
  6. W.K. Anuja Kaushika Premarathna
  7. A.L.M. Hidayatullah
  8. Samantha Rathwatte
  9. Wijerathna Dharmasena
  10. Upali Senarathna
  11. Padma Bandara
  12. S.K. Malik Peiris
  13. Karunarathna Herath
  14. Mahendra Suwadarathna
  15. A.P.C.M. Jayasekara
  16. Mohan Weerakoon
  17. P.R.S.P. Samaranayaka
  18. Ariya B.Rekawa
  19. Ananda Wickramasekara
  20. Anura Bandara Meddegoda
  21. Vijaya Niranjan Perera
  22. Karunadevage Wimaladasa
  23. Mohammad Nisam Kariyappar
  24. Vivekanandan Puvitharan
  25. Nissanka Nanayakkara

The President’s official website said: “the President appointed these Senior Lawyers, who have reached eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude, according to the power vested in him under the clause 33(2)(e) of the Constitution as President’s Counsels.

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