Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) notes with shock and dismay the appointment of the members to the National Police Commission and Public Service Commission, in violation of the constitutional provisions to protect the integrity of those institutions. It is the Constitutional Council that should select and screen members of all of these commissions established under the 17th Amendment. In this instance, the President has chosen to appoint members directly without following the constitutional norms that underpin good governance and the Rule of Law. By doing this, the President has risked pushing the country into an unconstitutional regime of governance. The long term adverse consequences of this include the perpetuating of the politicization of public sector and Police. The President’s action goes directly against the concept of “Independent” Police or Public Service Commissions.
The political leadership, both of the government and of the opposition is responsible for this situation. They have jointly demonstrated their inability to sustain a constitutional process with a long term vision and integrity and they are opposed to depoliticize the police and public service.
TISL urges the President to withdraw these appointments forthwith and urges the members so appointed by the President not to be parties to an unconstitutional and politically motivated process of governance. The public should be aware that the damage caused is irreparable. We call upon all those who value constitutional governance, the political parties, the corporate sector, organizations and individuals, to protest this move and to make every effort to ensure that the constitutional process will be back on track soon. Failure to oppose to this undemocratic move of the President amounts to collusion on their part and exposes their hypocrisy.