Aug 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) says that the Police Department could not be streamlined and depoliticized just by bringing it under the purview of a new ministry.
Addressing a media briefing, UNP parliamentarian and spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said today that it was essential to set up an Independent Police Commission if the police department were to act independently.
"We cannot expect the police department to act independently, just by bringing it under a new ministry. Independent commissions as laid down in the 17th Amendment should be set up if the state sector is to be independent," Karunathilaka said.
The UNP has repeatedly asked the government to reestablish the 17th Amendment abolished by the passage of 18th Amendment which gives powers to the President to make appointments into key positions.
Karunathilaka said the Independent Judicial Services Commission, the Independent Elections Commission and the Independent Police Commission should be set up immediately.
"If the government is so keen on ensuring democracy in the country, it should implement the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Our party will assist the government to carry this out," he said.
The 17th Amendment passed in 2001 made provisions for the Constitutional Council and Independent Commissions to make public services free from politicization.
Accordingly, appointments to Public Service Commission (PSC), the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), National Police Commission (NPC), Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, Human Rights Commission (HRC) and Election Commission (EC) were made with the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.