May 03, Colombo: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and Speaker of Sri Lanka parliament Chamal Rajapaksa discussed progress on legislative drafting when they met in Marlborough House, headquarters of The Commonwealth in London Friday (May 02).
The Secretary-General, who received the Sri Lankan Speaker, enquired about progress being made with the Commonwealth Secretariat's offer of advice and assistance with legislative drafting.
The Secretariat had offered Sri Lanka assistance to draft legislation required to ensure that legislative and other changes relating to the appointment and removal of senior judicial figures, and the independence of the judiciary, in Sri Lanka can be introduced to Parliament and implemented.
During his visits to Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013, the Secretary-General agreed with the Government of Sri Lanka that The Commonwealth would make analysis and assistance available on these matters.
The offer was aimed at ensuring that such processes are free of contention and do not call into question Sri Lanka's commitment to the Commonwealth's Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, the Commonwealth said.
The Secretary-General welcomed the agreement of the Sri Lankan Parliament to host a regional gathering of Commonwealth parliamentarians. The rationale is to strengthen their capacity to advance and uphold the rule of law and human rights.
The Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has already undertaken such capacity-building work with parliamentarians in the Caribbean and African regions.