Due to the non appointment of the Constitutional Council (CC), the main objective of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution has been defeated. The Public Service Commission, the National Police Commission, the Elections Commission and the Human Rights Commission are now technically defunct. The President, the Government, the Opposition Leader, the Speaker, the opposition including minority parties are all equally responsible for this situation. It now appears that non-appointment of the Constitutional Council and other Constitutional Commissions was a deliberate act which was politically motivated. Consequently, the country at present does not have an institutional framework to secure the independence of the public service. A series of irregular appointments, transfers and promotions are being made in many public sector institutions/ministries ignoring the constitutionality of such actions.
Delay in appointing members to the CC is a clear indication that the political leadership is not interested in safeguarding the integrity of the public sector within a constitutional framework. The progress which the country gained subsequent to the 17th Amendment has now been reversed and politicization of the public sector has recommenced! TISL reminds the public of the possible adverse and long term impact on the governance structure of the country that would ensue due to the short sighted and ill advised decision of the elected representatives not to proceed with the appointments to the CC.
The Media reported this week that the President has instructed the Speaker to proceed with the appointments and that an amendment to the 17th Amendment is being contemplated. The motive of such an amendment needs to be examined closely by all those who value depoliticisation of the public sector. TISL demands the President, Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker, all members of Parliament, all political parties and all those who are advising them to immediately appoint the Constitutional Council without further delay and without waiting for any constitutional amendments, thus preventing a total collapse of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka.