CC: Hobson’s choice
Posted on February 15th, 2016

Island Editorial Courtesy The Island

The manner in which the new Attorney General (AG) was appointed has left a bad taste in many a mouth. What is at issue is not the suitability or otherwise of the new AG but why the acting AG was so blatantly overlooked.

Initially, President Maithripala Sirisena sought to shift the onus for appointing the AG to the Constitutional Council (CC) by referring three names thereto. But, the CC sent them back to him, requesting him to choose one of them as it was empowered only to endorse or reject his recommendation and not appoint the AG. The President finally recommended a name, which was dutifully endorsed. No one in his or her proper senses would have expected the CC to do otherwise. For, seven out of its ten members are supportive of the government’s political project the implementation of which requires officials of their choice in key positions. Not even the Opposition Leader is independent in that he is beholden to the President for his appointment to that coveted post. One shouldn’t be so naïve as to expect them to leave the President with egg on his face by turning down a name recommended by him. They are working according to a common agenda.

One may stop short of calling the independence of the three civil society members of the CC into question, but the fact remains that most civil society organisations have been supportive of the present dispensation; they are ill-disposed towards the leaders of the previous administration all out to make a comeback.

We reported, quoting sources the other day, that CC member, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne of Sarvodaya fame, had said something to the effect that why senior most official and Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath had been overlooked should be explained. One cannot but agree with him; the CC owes an explanation to the public as to why it allowed the President to overlook Gamlath. That is the least it can do to repair its badly damaged credentials and prove that it is not a mere rubber stamp for decisions made at the Presidential Secretariat. Transparency is a hallmark of good governance. If the CC can put forward some cogent reasons for its decision it will be able to put the matter to rest. Else, it will help bolster its critics’ argument that it is a mere appendage of the government like the so-called National Executive Council set up in the wake of the presidential election last year.

It is no secret that several prominent ministers, most of whom are political turncoats notorious for boot licking under the previous government, has been on a vilification campaign against Gamlath. For, it is believed that they failed to enlist his support to have key Opposition politicians arrested according to their whims and fancies to neutralise dissent. Therefore, there is reason to believe that they succeeded in swaying the President who had earlier said, according to CC member Minister John Seneviratne, that the senior most official would be appointed AG. If Gamlath had been found wanting, as claimed in some quarters, he should not have been appointed acting AG in the first place.

The Rajapaksas not only made bad decisions but also rammed them down people’s throats; today, under the present dispensation they are given thick yahapalana coating!

The CC will have to endorse the appointment of the next IGP shortly. Government politicians and their propagandists have already embarked on a campaign to tarnish the image of some eligible candidates obviously in a bid to have their man appointed to the top post.

Will it be a case of Hobson’s choice for the CC again?

One Response to “CC: Hobson’s choice”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Maru Sira-Run-nil govt. wants to ARREST and PUNISH JOINT OPPOSITION MPs and their families. They appointed an attorney general who would DO just that.

    The REVENGEFUL govt. plans to arrest 33 MPs and officials loyal to MR. Their HIT LIST includes

    Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Prasanna Ranatunga
    Wimal Weerawansa, Shashi Weerawansa
    Udya Gammanpila
    Namal Rajapaksa, Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa
    Dullas Alahapperuma
    Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

    IF we want to SAVE THEM, there are only 2 ways to do it. Election is NOT one of them.

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