In a statement, TISL said, “Unsound political tradition of having ‘jumbo’ Cabinets continues in Sri Lanka for almost three decades and indications are that this practice will continue, unless a powerful public opinion is created opposing this move. At present, all except two Members of Parliament of the governing party are Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
“TISL has repeatedly stated that the government of Sri Lanka cannot afford to have high number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers for two basic reasons. Firstly, the oversight of the executive by parliament has become extremely weak due to having a large number of Members of Parliament in the executive branch. Secondly, the perks and other emoluments given to the MPs are unaffordable for a country whose economy is extremely weak and every cent is critical for development purposes.
“Under the present constitutional arrangement, there are no stipulated numbers for Cabinet or Deputy Ministers. The President may appoint any Member of Parliament as a Minister of Deputy Minister. Neither the Presidents nor governments that were formed under the present Constitution have made any attempt to introduce a worthwhile tradition in this regard,” the organisation continued.
“TISL also believes that it is the prime responsibility of the President, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and leaders of the political parties to address this issue beyond political advantages as a matter of priority and to introduce a democratic tradition for the benefit of the country. We trust that it is time for the political authorities to realize the basic principle that they enjoy the public finance, full control of which is vested in parliament.”