CBK blamed by TI Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (InfoLanka) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to appoint members to the Election and Finance Commissions and a Secretary General to Parliament.

The organization's Executive Director J.C. Weliamuna said that there was a considerable delay and an apparent reluctance on the part of the President to appoint these nominees recommended and nominated by the Constitutional Council.

"Failure to appoint these nominees effectively nullifies the intended purpose of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution," Mr. Weliamuna said.

"TISI firmly believes that to ensure an accountable and transparent system of government, the President should urgently make these appointments, namely, chairman and the members of the Election Commission, and the Secretary General to Parliament," he said.

" Therefore, we urge the President and the government to fully implement the 17th Amendment by appointing all independent commissions without any further delay," he said.

Since October 2002, Police and the Pubic Service Commission have been appointed by the President, following due recommendation by the Constitutional Council as required by the Amendment. TISL joined the public in welcoming the establishment of these Commissions.

However, almost three months ago, the Council nominated the chairpersons and members of the Election and National Finance Commissions as well as the Secretary General, from amongst eminent persons. These nominations have been forwarded to the President who is the final appointing authority.

TISL strongly believes that establishing independent commissions set out by the Constitution and appointing persons of integrity is a prerequisite to establishing good governance in Sri Lanka. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure all required financial and other resources are provided to enable these Commissions to function effectively, Mr. Weliamuna said.