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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Friday, October 21, 2005

Delay in CC might affect polls, says NPC chief

Daily Mirror: 12/10/2005" By Gihan de Chickera

National Police Commission Chairman Ranjith Abeysuriya yesterday slammed the leaders of the country for not appointing the Constitutional Council, saying the delay threatened the future of the NPC as well as the independence of the police service.

Mr. Abeysuriya said the NPC was established at the request of all parties and the public for the purposes of serving the best interests of the people. He said the current commission was appointed on November 24 last year 2002 and its three-year term would end next month, a week after the presidential elections.

“The Constitutional Council is essential to appoint the NPC. The first CC was established three years ago and its term ended in early 2005. But no appointments have been made to the CC,” Mr. Abeysuriya said.

“We should be ashamed of this situation. If the outside world found out about this situation they would wonder why we are not concerned about such a serious issue,” he said.

Mr. Abeysuriya strongly urged all the leaders to work towards appointing the CC. “Everyone is asking for the CC to be appointed. Every party wants it appointed. Even the Elections Commissioner wants it appointed,” he said.

Speaking to journalist at a PAFFREL media briefing yesterday, he said the general election in April last yea was conducted while the NPC was functioning and this contributed significantly to the free and fair nature of the election.

He said if the NPC was not reappointed this year, police officers would be apprehensive about carrying out their election duties impartially because they would fear political interference after the elections.

He also said the term of the Public Service Commission would end on December 2. “Appointments to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal cannot be made without the CC. I personally know of a vacancy not being filled in the Court of Appeal because there is no CC,” he said.

The NPC on September 26 notified the IGP to stop all routine transfers until December 1. On October 10, even transfers of police officers were prevented by the NPC. The NPC has already issued a set of guidelines for police officers to carry out their election duties.

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