The first beneficiary of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution is Dhammika Kitulgoda. He was given a permanent appointment as the Secretary General of Parliament by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week.
Mr. Kitulgoda was the acting Secretary General of Parliament for nearly two-and-a-half years having his term extended every fourteen days by Presidential proclamation. However with the dissolution of the Constitutional Council, his appointment has been made permanent.
The appointment was made under 65 (1) of the Constitution which states that the Secretary General of Parliament (SG) shall be appointed by the President. But under the 17th Amendment introduced in 2001, the SG’s appointment had to be made on the recommendations of the Council.
The appointment of the Secretary General of Parliament was announced by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Tuesday even before the new Bill was passed. However the Speaker did not make the usual announcement that the appointment was being extended for 14 days in keeping with the provisions of the 17th Amendment.
Mr. Kitulgoda also served as Secretary to the Constitutional Council which will become defunct once the 18th Amendment becomes law after it is certified by the Speaker in the next few days.Meanwhile retired Supreme Court Judge and Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to London Nihal Jayasinghe is slated to be appointed Chairman of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.