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Sri Lanka: Speaker terms President’s statement in parliament as misleading

Responding to the President’s allegation that the Constitutional Council (CC) was not recognizing seniority of judges, the Speaker said the seniority was not the only criteria followed when CC approve President’s nominations for judges.

His comments came as President Sirisena told parliament that judges in al courts are feeling despondent and there is a view that some judges are being penalized for their judgement. 

He said this should not happen and warned the constitutional council for continuously rejecting his nominations to the judiciary.

The speaker said the statement that CC does not recognize the seniority at all is wrong.

The Speaker further pointed out that every name the CC approved is from the list the President has recommended and the CC did not recommend any name on its own or from outside.

He clarified that the CC did not approve the names of those who were brought before the bribery commission or accused of other charges.

Commenting on the President’s claim that the CC has rejected 12 nominations, the Speaker emphasized the council selects only one out of 3-4 recommendations; however considering this as a ‘rejection’ of other nominations, is an unjust accusation made to the council.

The constitutional council has 10 members led by speaker and including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe but the majority are not on the side of President.

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