Teacher strangled and robbed
By Tania Fernando
A teacher was found strangled and stripped of her jewellery at her house in Piliyandala in broad daylight on Thursday.

The autopsy report reveals that the cause of death was manual strangulation and that she has been killed between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

Her body was discovered only when her daughter returned home after work around 6.45 p.m. The husband of the teacher, Mr. Wickrematilake, said his wife had stayed home on Thursday, after their dog messed up their house.

"She said that she wants to stay at home and clean the house", he said, adding that she had called him around 9 a.m. at his office and told him not to call her as she was going to sleep for a while and to call after 12 noon.

However, when he had tried to call her during the day, there had been no answer. When their daughter had returned home, she had found her mother lying on the bed dead, with her face down.

The 52-year old physical education teacher was stripped of her jewellery and even the bedsheet of the bed on which she was lying, had apparently been taken by the thief.
"There were bruises on her neck,and her nose was broken, but the house had not been searched or ransacked by the thief", he said.

Although the incident had occurred on Thursday, Mr. Wickremathilake said that he had to give four calls to the Piliyandala Police, but they did not take any finger prints at the scene of the crime till Saturday afternoon.

"The police asked us not to touch anything in the room and subsequently an officer asked us to keep the room locked", he said.

Meanwhile, the Piliyandala Police said they are conducting investigations but are yet to make a break-through.

All powerful CC with 18th Amendment
In the process of providing legal immunity to the Constitutional Council with the 18th Amendment, enabling it to make the necessary appointments to the long awaited independent commissions, the bill which has been presented to Parliament makes the Council one of the most powerful institutions of governance.

Section three of the proposed bill makes it possible for the Constitutional Council to make rules setting out the procedures and guidelines to be followed by it only subject to the fact that they are communicated to Parliament.

Under the provisions of the Bill no decision of the Constitutional Council can be challenged in court, including the Supreme Court, on the grounds of fundamental rights violations.

According to section 5 of the bill no suit can be filed against any of the members of the Constitutional Council. This provision had been brought in response to a crisis which arose in the functioning of the Constitutional Council after it was set up. Members of the council, many of whom were former judges or lawyers had refused to take up appointment fearing legal action once they appointed members to the independent commissions.

This brought to a standstill the much awaited functioning of the Council and delayed the appointments to all the independent commissions which the government pledged to instal in the first three months of its regime.

The section also states that any attempt by any individual to influence the decision of the Council can draw a fine or prison term not exceeding seven years.

There was also the problem of financing the Constitutional Council since the members had to be paid out of parliamentary allocations for the year. This has been taken care in section three of the bill with monies being allocated from the Consolidated Fund.

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