Constitutional Council: No need to turn Civil Society Members into Politicians
Posted on June 23rd, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

The 19th amendment empowera the Constitutional Council to set up independent commissions. The 10 member Constitutional Council comprises 3 permanent positions – the Speaker (Chamal Rajapakse), the Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremasinghe), the Leader of the Opposition (Nimal Siripala de Silva), 4 members of Parliament elected for a term and 3 civil society members. Two of the nominees to the CC under the civil society list is extremely controversial and moreover the standing orders has not been followed in discussing with the party leaders before nominating the 3 civil society members. Therefore, even the CC that aspires to bring good governance has started with bad governance. The point in question is why civil society members should be turned into virtual politicians!

All 7 politicians are answerable to their voters and the general public, but who are the 3 civil society members answerable to once they enter Parliament.

The 3 civil society members are supposed to be respected and people who have distinguished records of service to Sri Lanka. But who decides on the tag of distinction? Is it the same circles of people promoting the candidates because they see a green light for them to influence governance?

Non-public nominated civil society inside Parliament is risky because most of these civil society members are either retired from service and engaged with an INGO/NGO and paid by these entities to advance their vision/mission and objectives and these may directly or indirectly / covertly or overtly conflict with national interests. Thus given them the powers to influence the decision making channels of selecting important people is certainly of public concern.

It is best that the 7 member Constitutional Council function and take on a consultative basis 3 members of civil society whom each of the 7 deem fit without turning them into virtual politicians. Once appointments to the independent commissions are made there is little service left for them to do as these terms are also for a fixed period therefore it is best that civil society members are only taken on a consultative basis as and when the need arises for selecting members to the independent commissions only. There is absolutely no point burdening the tax payers by having to pay for their maintenance throughout an entire term. 

Shenali D Waduge

Additional reading: – Questioning the integrity of nominees to the Constitutional Council.




6 Responses to “Constitutional Council: No need to turn Civil Society Members into Politicians”

  1. Independent Says:

    Whatever the council, as far as friends and helpers are appointed it becomes completely useless.
    Severe punishment to wrong doers has become imperative.
    If a Tamil give more marks to a Tamil than a Sinhalese send him to jail for 10 years.
    Same with the Sinhalese who discriminate Tamils.
    If a cricket coach is biased to his religion bearers , send him to jail for 10 years.
    If a minister appoints his brother to a high post when others exist , cancel his pension and send both of them for 20 years jail.
    We need this kind of jail terms to stop this country becoming an anarchy.

  2. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    No wonder you are a fierce Sirisena Supporter with inclination towards Killer party JVP.

    You fail to understand the main function of the Constitutional Council. The constitutional council cannot introduce new penal codes into the legal system. It has to come through the parliament.

    The main function of the Constitutional Council is to give its recommendations before the President appoints a person as the Chairman or a member of the following Commissions
    Elections Commission
    – Public Service Commission
    – National Police Commission
    – Auditing Service Commission
    – Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
    – Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption
    – Finance Commission
    – Delimitation Commission
    – National Procurement Commission
    The President shall on no account appoint a Chairman or a member of any of the Commissions, except on the recommendation of the Council.

  3. Independent Says:

    Yeah Yeah but if these buggers who are appointed by hooligan politikkos ( which also include majority of politikkos) it will be the same story. It is better than 1 idiot deciding but ultimately will be another YES SIR committee to look after the interest of the MASTER. Culture has to change.

    It is not that I like Sirisena. Sirisena was the only choice last time. Better than nothing.
    May be give JVP a chance. They talk sense. Might be the same later.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    The main function of the Constitutional Council is to give its recommendations – Only recommendations but PR will do what ever he like but he will listen recommendations.

  5. Charles Says:

    We know that as long as UNP with Ranil Wickramasinghe is there nothing will be done for the welfare of the Country and its people. He has is own agenda drawn up by the west as in the case of the infamous CFA and he will be hell bent in carrying it out.Proof is there in the 100 day government of Sirsena . What have they done other than drivng Sri Lanka towards and abyss from which if it falls we will never be able to rescue it again, until another Mahinda is found ?

  6. ranjit Says:

    Some ungrateful people in this country had hopes when they elected Yahapalana traitors but now all their hopes and dreams were shattered because of weak Governance and corruption. I don’t see any good they have done during this five months except reducing Petrol and Gas. They wanted to raise the prices of these two but stop doing so because of the coming election otherwise they would have done it. This is a Govt with NO VISION. Their hearts filled with hatred. Most of the Ministers are gays,Christians,Tamils and Muslims. They do not have any love for this country except they dream about their own self and their future dream lands. Majority Sinhalese shouldn’t fight each other instead they must get united to fight the evil conspiracies of the west and the Indians. This is no the time to stay divided and fight each other. We have to think of our children and our future.As Sinhalese we do not have another place in this world to call home except this tiny nation called Sri Lanka.So be awake Sinhalese and think hard what will happen to our country if we do not stay united. Love your country than your own self because we need a country to live in peace.

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