Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today dismissed criticism levelled by President Maithripala Sirisena on the Constitutional Council (CC).
Making a special statement in Parliament, Speaker Jayasuriya who is also the head of the CC, said it never informed the President that it does not consider the seniority when appointing judicial officers and other members of the other Independent Commissions.
“We never informed the President that we don’t consider seniority but we did tell him that we consider other aspects as well other than the seniority. Therefore, the statement made by the President was wrong ,” the Speaker said.
“I have never said the CC does not consider seniority even in my speech made in the House on January 2, 2019," he added.
The Speaker said the CC only considered the nominations sent by the President and does not consider outsiders. He said no one has been subjected to unfair treatment by the CC.
“The statement made by the President that 12 names which sent to the CC has been rejected was also wrong. The CC only considers one name when three and four names are sent. It is an insult to the CC to say that it has rejected the nominations sent by the President”.
“A CC is not needed if only seniority is considered when appointments are made. It is the duty of the CC to nominate the right kind of persons as per the 19th Amendment. Our belief is that we have performed this duty well. Members of the CC are allowed to voice their opinions. No political party had a majority in CC. It does not come under any influence in such circumstances at any time,”.
“All decisions taken by the CC were collective decisions. The CC can consider appointments to the Supreme Courts and Court of Appeal. It does not have the power to go into the appointments of Primary Courts, Magistrate Courts and District Courts,”
“The CC has boost the image of the country. Our Judiciary has won the praise of the international community. The actions of the CC will help Sri Lanka’s cause in the next UN Human Rights Commission sessions this year”.
The Speaker also dismissed claims made by the President on National Human Rights Commission.
“The Human Rights Commission had asked for a report on sending of the STF to Agunakolapellassa Prison as many parties have raised questions on it,” he said.
Further, the Speaker said the delay in getting the Sri Lankan security forces stationed in Mali took place according to an agreement which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN and the security forces.
The Speaker also went on to say that he had tabled the criteria followed in approving appointments on December 8, 2016. However the guidelines followed by the CC will be re-tabled in Parliament tomorrow. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)