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Appointments made to National Police Commission uncontitutional:AHRC

By Staff
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Colombo, Apr 11 (UNI) Sri Lankan President Mahindra Rajapakse has appointed members to the National Police Commission and the Public Service Commission that are created under the 17th amendment but the appointments are in violation to the country's Constitution.

Commissions created under the 17th Amendment to the Constitution are to be without commissioners because the Constitutional Council, which has the power to appoint the commission members, is defunct.

The National Police Commission, Public Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission, the Election Commission and the Human Rights Commission are to be under the direct control of the government.

According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the President took it upon himself to appoint members to the National Police Commission and the Public Service Commission.

These appointments bypassed the constitutional process, which requires the appointments to be approved by the Constitutional Council, the AHRC said.

''Before granting approval, the council is to examine the merits of the proposedn persons as well as take into account public objections, thereby preventing arbitrary or political appointments.

By making appointments to these commissions himself, the President is moving towards absolute power,'' it added.

The President had earlier said that he was concerned and wanted to appoint memmbers soon to the commissions. However, the appointments were clearly planned, the commission said, adding it will never be known whether these appointments were approved by the Constitutional Council or whether any public intervention was made.

''If the President genuinely wanted to resolve the delay in appointing the Constitutional Council and other commissions, he should have intervened with the minority parties, particularly the JVP, TNA and JHU to get the third member appointed,'' the AHRC said.

The Asian Human Rights Commission has urged Mr Rajapakse to withdraw these appointments forthwith.

''Neither the commissions nor the appointments are at present legitimate. By functioning illegitimately, the significance of the commissions, which are vital to the defence of basic freedoms, will be lost,'' the commission said.

UNI XC SY AK HT1515

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