CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL WAS ANYTHING BUT APOLITICAL – MINISTER PEIRIS

September 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

‘Seven Commissions under 17 Amendment remain’

The Constitutional Council established by the 17th Amendment was anything but apolitical and the members were appointed to the Council only on one criterion which is political allegiance, stated Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (Sep 9) at a media briefing.

Emphasizing that the members of the Constitutional Council were appointed by political parties, the Minister questioned how anybody could argue that such a Council could have intrinsic value in contributing to de-politicization.

He added that the 17th Amendment was formulated not on policy but on sheer expedience and even the Supreme Court stated in its ruling in 2001 that the 17th Amendment was unworkable on the ground.

Dismissing accusations that the 18th Amendment was brought for approval before parliament too hurriedly, the Minister pointed out that this was done because the government intended to appoint the seven relevant commissions speedily. Unless the amendment was brought to parliament soon, it could not have been taken up for debate until next year with the Budget debate taking place later this year, he added.

The seven Commissions under the 17th Amendment will remain under the 18th Amendment, he said.

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