ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Call for extra pressure to reactivate the CC

The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) has very correctly decided to take a more aggressive approach to pressuring for the reactivation of the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka. The council was brought in under the 17th Amendment, with all parties in Parliament in full agreement.

Despite all the pressure being brought on the President, and appeals by all religious and professional bodies, among others, the President has still not acted to reactivate the Council. The OPA had a big hand in obtaining the consent of political parties to agree to the nomination of the highly respected former Auditor General, Mr S. C. Mayadunne, to fill a vacancy on the Constitutional Council. It was hoped that this step would prompt the President to waste no time in reactivating the Council. So far, no action has been taken.

The President is well aware that the Constitutional Council has the power to make appointments to the various Commissions – Human Rights, Elections, Public Service, Judicial Service, Police Commission and the judges of the Appeal and Supreme Court, as well the posts of Attorney General, Secretary General of Parliament and Commissioner of Elections.

The Constitutional Council was formed primarily to make these vital appointments and prevent others from making these appointments to meet their political or other aspirations. Now that the OPA has taken upon itself the heavy task of pressing for the reactivation of the Constitutional Council, it is up to those of us who value the importance of upholding the freedom and liberty of our people to join the OPA to bring pressure on the President to appoint the Constitutional Council without any further delay.

Other political parties in Parliament, the UNP, the JVP, the JHU and the Tamil and Muslim Parties, who have vowed to uphold the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the freedom and rights of the people who sent them to Parliament should all join hands and demand that the President immediately appoints the Constitutional Council.

It is understood that 42 bodies have pledged their support to the OPA. More bodies are needed to join the OPA in its mission to prevent the President from continuing to violate the Constitution by taking over the Council’s responsibilities.

By Maurice Lord, Colombo 13

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