Sept 10, Colombo: The first meeting of Sri Lanka's Constitutional Council was held today under the patronage of the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the official Residence of the Speaker.
Under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Council is the responsible body to appoint members to the independent commissions such as bribery commission and election commission.
The office of the Constitutional Council said the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan attended today's meeting. In addition, members of the Constitutional Council Ministers Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa, Patali Champika Ranawaka and W.D.J. Seneviratne were present.
At the meeting, the Speaker has stressed the need to appoint the members for the Constitutional Council immediately since there is a delay in the appointment of Independent Commissions. The Speaker further emphasized that the Constitutional Council should be operative immediately.
Discussions focused on the nomination of the three civil society representatives to the Council and it was proposed to submit the names of the three nominees to Parliament on the 22nd of September.
During the meeting, an agreement has been reached to secure nominees from recognized political party leaders and civil organizations.
Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has nominated its parliamentarian Vijitha Herath to the 10- member Council.
Prominent civil society representative Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, former UN Under-Secretary General Radhika Coomaraswamy and President's Counsel Shibly Aziz have been proposed for the three civil representatives and their names will be moved in Parliament on the 22nd of this month for approval.
The Constitutional Council decided to meet again on the 21st and 23rd of this month.