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REPORT OF THE CITIZENS CONSULTATION ON FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS AND DEPOLITICIZATION OF KEY INSTITUTIONS

Full Text of Report

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose and Objectives

1.1.1 The Citizens Consultation on Free and Fair Elections and Depoliticization of Key Institutions was convened at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Independence Square, Colombo-7 on Monday, the 14th of September, 1998, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the initiative of the United National Party.

1.1.2 Honorable Ranil Wickremesinghe, M.P., Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the United National Party in his letter addressed to all religious dignitaries, recognized political parties, non-governmental organizations, professional bodies and other civil society groups had described the purpose and objectives of the Citizens Consultation as follows:

"This is a critical moment in the history of our country. The future of democracy and the multi-party system is under threat. Restoring public confidence in the electoral process has become an urgent necessity. I propose to convene a Consultation on Free and Fair Elections and Depoliticization of Key Institutions in our country for the establishment of an Independent Elections Commission, an Independent Police Service Commission, and an Independent Public Service Commission. This Consultation will be an ongoing process. A non-partisan committee will be appointed to facilitate the process and report to the plenary, which will be convened at the end of November, 1998."

1.2 Composition & Terms of Reference

1.2.1 The Citizens Consultation decided to appoint 2 Committees, namely a 9 member Plenary Committee to convene plenary meetings, provide guidelines and assist in the overall organizational arrangements; and a 14 member Drafting Committee to call for public representations and formulate and submit the final report by mid-November, 1998. The names and addresses of the members of the Plenary and Drafting Committees are contained in Annexes I & II respectively.

1.2.2 A joint meeting of the Plenary and Drafting Committees was held on Monday the 28th of September, 1998, at which a decision was made to enlarge the Drafting Committee to 18 members by co-opting 4 members from the Plenary Committee. The final composition of the Drafting Committee is as follows:

1. Mr. K. H. J. Wijayadasa (Convenor)

2. Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

3. Mr. D. M. Swaminathan

4. Mrs. Monica Ruwanpathirane

5. Mr. D. S. S. Mayadunne

6. Mr. A. L. M. Thangavel

7. Mr. W. D. Ailapperuma

8. Father Oswald Firth

9. Mr. A. L. M. Hashim, P.C.

10. Mrs. Janakie Gunawardena

11. Air Vice Marshall Harry Gunatilleke

12. Mr. Austin Fernando

13. Mr. Melvin Wijesekera

14. Mr. Shibly Aziz, P.C.

15. Mr. Ana Seneviratne

16. Mr. Elmore Perera

17. Mrs. Swarna Obeysekera

18. Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo

1.2.3 The Joint Committee agreed on the Nature, Scope, Objectives, Methodology, Time Frame, and the Terms of Reference of the Citizens Consultation. The Terms of Reference of the Citizens Consultation are as follows:

(1) To invite and consider written representations on each or all of the following matters:

(a) The necessary Constitutional safeguards which would ensure free and fair elections.

(b) Constitutional provisions which would enable:

• The establishment of an independent Elections Commission.

• Ensuring a fair and non-partisan Police Service, through the establishment of an independent Police Service Commission.

• Guaranteeing an impartial and non-partisan Public Service, through the establishment of an independent Public Service Commission.

and, including such consequential amendments as may be required in relevant legislation.

(2) To formulate on the basis of the representations received, and other such inquiries from groups and individuals as the Drafting Committee may consider necessary, the text of draft, constitutional and other provisions, relating to matters referred to in paragraph (1) above, including in particular the composition, structure, method of appointment and powers and functions of the said Commissions, which shall be submitted to the Plenary of the Citizens Consultation to be convened at the end of November, 1998.

(3) In carrying out its mandate in terms of paragraph (2) above, the Drafting Committee shall give its fullest consideration to the positions, views and proposals contained in the following:

(a) The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

(b) The Government’s Constitutional Reform proposals of October, 1997.

(c) The Proposals of any other Political Parties including the United National Party.

(d) Any relevant published documentation on inquires made in past years on the related issues, by Presidential Commissions, Task Forces, Select Committees of Parliament, etc.

1.2.4 For the sake of convenience the Drafting Committee grouped itself into 4 Sub-Committees, namely those on Elections, the Public Service, the Police Service, and the Judiciary. The Convenors of these 4 Sub-Committees were Mr. W. D. Ailapperuma, (Mrs. Swarna Obeysekera as alternate), Mr. Melvin Wijesekera, Mr. Ana Seneviratne, and Mr. D. Swaminathan respectively. The Core Group responsible for the drafting of the Report consisted of Mr. K. H. J. Wijayadasa (Convenor), Mr. Bradman Weerakoon, Mr. Shibly Aziz and the Convenors of the 4 Sub-Committees.

1.3 Public Representations

1.3.1 Public representations were invited in writing through press releases and newspaper advertisements on the constitutional safeguards and legislative provisions which would ensure Free and Fair Elections and Depoliticization of Key Institutions through the establishment of an independent Elections Commission, an independent Public Service Commission, and an independent Police Service Commission. Further, views and representations were invited on the composition, structure, method of appointment, powers, functions etc., of the proposed independent Commissions.

1.3.2 Being a matter of great national importance the Citizens Consultation made it absolutely clear that it is desirous of obtaining a broad cross section of views and representations and in particular those of political parties, trade unions, non-governmental organizations, peoples organizations, individuals etc. In response a large number of persons, and organizations submitted written representations. We were not only benefited by the richness of the proposals contained therein but also impressed by the unanimous expression of support for restoration of sanity in the critical areas of democratic governance under reference.

Chapter 2

BACKGROUND

2.1 The Politicization Process

2.1.1 Sri Lanka’s governments since Independence have been founded on political democracy. "Political democracy" calls for an executive responsible to the popular will as expressed at elections with universal suffrage, an independent judiciary and the observance of a wide range of civil liberties and human rights. But today, the very basis of political democracy is threatened and the concept of free and fair elections stands diluted.

2.1.2 The politicization process of civil society had its origin in the 1950’s, and it gathered momentum with each successive parliamentary victory involving large majorities especially in the 1970’s and the 1980’s. These victories resulted in an unprecedented level of post election violence as well as the imposition of partisan governance, so much so that the supporters of the losing side came to be deprived of their legitimate rights, privileges and entitlements in society.

2.1.3 This malaise has been aptly described in the report of the Presidential Commission on Youth of 1990 as follows:

"This attitude ("Winner Takes All") served, and continues to serve, to polarize civil society at all levels, giving rise to the belief that members of the ruling party and their supporters have the exclusive right to all the rewards and benefits that society has to offer. As a result, political divisions at the local level are at times attended by great acrimony, with the children of supporters of losing political parties suffering discrimination and victimization at the hands of government officials and state institutions, leading to the spread of discontent, disquiet and even unrest among youth."

2.1.4 In a democratic country the political executive is not given unlimited powers. The legislature and the judiciary exercise certain controls over the executive. There is also protection for the public officials against the ministers who are required to act according to the law and not according to their whims and fancies. The protection of the public service against the ministers can be ensured through politically independent state services and an efficient bureaucracy wherein recruitment is through merit and not on the basis of political patronage.

2.1.5 In Sri Lanka the once independent state services have been progressively dismembered. By the 1972 Constitution the Cabinet of Ministers took control of the powers of appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal etc., hitherto vested in the PSC, thus spelling disaster to the independence of the public service. The dilution of the neutrality of the public service was exacerbated by doing away with competitive examinations for recruitment to the state services in the 1970’s and the 1980’s, and the introduction of the "Chit System" in the appointment, promotion, transfer, and even the disciplinary control of state officers.

2.1.6 Even though the judiciary has not undergone politicization of any serious nature, society by and large is disenchanted with the legal and judicial processes. This is because, the judiciary is seemingly powerless in the context of the declaration and continuation of emergency even to postpone elections, and at times to suppress legitimate trade union action which invariably result in the violation of human rights. Many people are getting increasingly disillusioned by the enormity of law’s delays, the unaffordable expenses of litigation and the rather monolithic nature and structure of the legal profession which are such that justice would either be delayed or never rendered, or not be accessible.

2.2 Abuses and Excesses of Politicization

2.2.1 Since the beginning of the election process in Sri Lanka, there had been instances of election malpractices and abuses. However, in the early days such abuses were confined, mostly to impersonation and sometimes to the prevention of voters from turning up at Polling Booths. The large-scale abuse of the election process is a more recent phenomenon and manifested in its worst from during certain recent elections. Rampant thuggery, mass-scale stuffing of ballot boxes, forceful eviction of polling agents of opposition parties and the creation of a fear psychosis by armed gangs were evident at these elections. In fact, these elections gave rise to the fear whether free and fair elections can ever be held again in Sri Lanka.

2.2.2 Under the circumstances there appears to be a nationwide call for free and fair elections and the depoliticization of key institutions such as the Public Service, the Police Service, the Elections Department, and other high level national policy making bodies such as those on Education, Health, National Security, Human Rights etc.

2.2.3 Abuses and excesses relating to over-politicization have manifested themselves in many different forms and guises. They are

(a) political interference in the day to day administration of government institutions;

(b) abuse of political power in the awarding of public contracts, issue of licenses, and various privatization deals;

(c) politicization of recruitment, promotion, transfer, dismissal, and disciplinary control in all the state services at all levels; and

(d) the abuse of political power in the undermining of democratic institutions and processes such as Police, Elections, Public Service, etc.

2.2.4 The following extract from the report of the Presidential Commission on Youth on the undermining of democratic institutions and processes is self-explanatory.

"Many of the young people who came before us also had strong perceptions about the abuse of political power in the undermining of democratic institutions and processes. These perceptions were particularly acute with regard to what they felt was the undermining of the electoral process - the only opportunity available in society for the non-violent transfer of political power. There was, in addition, the belief that institutions such as the judiciary as well as the legislature were being undermined by political manipulation."

2.2.5 Under the 1978 Constitution (Article 103), the Commissioner of Elections is appointed by the President and subject to impeachment by Parliament. There are instances where the Election Commissioner and the staff have been subjected to considerable political pressure from political parties and certain politicians of the ruling party. The ability of the Elections Department to carryout its duties is hampered by limitations on its powers. Of particular concern is the absence of control over the Police and Security Forces at election time. Tens of thousands of police and a number of military personnel are charged with election duty, yet these forces remain outside the authority of the Commissioner of Elections.

2.2.6 This has made it difficult for the Elections Department to respond promptly, appropriately and in a flexible manner to consistently changing situations particularly on polling day. This absence of control of the Security Forces and the Police by the election administration is a major cause for the spread of election abuses in their present form. Politicization of the election process has many facets. They come in to play long before the polling day; and mostly after the nominations are received. In fact at several recent elections, intimidation started on the nomination day itself, in the presence of the Returning Officers and their officials when opposition candidates were intimidated, threatened and jeered at.

2.2.7 Election abuses and excesses can be listed to include mostly:

(a) Before Polling Day

• forcible take over of official poll cards;

• establishment of unauthorized campaign booths of political parties near polling stations;

• political interference preventing issue of permits to hold meetings, use of loudspeakers and conduct of processions;

• threatening and intimidation of supporters of the opposition;

• removal or disfigurement of posters, banners etc., of opposition candidates;

• disruption of opposition meetings and demonstrations;

• tampering with the voter registration system by politically minded village level officials;

• uncontrolled campaign contributions obtained through abuse of power and unregulated expenditure;

• unequal treatment of candidates by government controlled media; and

• obstruction of election campaigns by intimidation, thuggery, violence, etc.

(b) On the Polling Day

• impersonation of the votes of the living as well as the dead and those out of the country;

• intimidation of voters and prevention of voters from coming to the polling station;

• stuffing of ballot boxes with marked ballot papers;

• intimidation and assault of polling agents and their eviction from polling stations;

• use of armed personnel attached to politicians to intimidate not only the opposition workers but polls officials as well;

• use of unauthorized vehicles to transport voters;

• intimidation of counting agents.

2.3 The Need for Depoliticization

2.3.1 In the light of the deteriorating law and order situation in the country, especially in relation to political violence, election malpractices and abuses, political interference in the day to day administration and the victimization of political opponents, there is an urgent need for the depoliticization of the major democratic institutions and processes.

2.3.2 Independent Public Service: If the Government is keen on restoring the pride, stability and resilience of the administration, then, the Cabinet and the individual Ministers must divest themselves of the powers they have taken over from the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC should be vested with the powers of appointment, promotion, transfer, dismissal, etc., and made accountable to Parliament. The members of the PSC should be selected and nominated by the Constitutional Council of Parliament to be appointed by the President or the appropriate appointing authority.

2.3.3 Non-political state officers recruited by the PSC on the basis of merit and to the total exclusion of all extraneous considerations are among the chief attributes of the Parliamentary System of Government of the Westminster Model. The U.S. for long afflicted by the vices of the spoils system in the matter of appointment to the civil services, has willy-nilly veered round to the British view that in a democracy where political masters periodically change, the administration is best carried on by persons selected on the basis of merit, regardless of party bearings or personal loyalties. Consequently, the civil services there have come to be recruited on the basis of an objective assessment of their suitability by the powerful U.S. Civil Service Commission.

2.3.4 The question may arise that if the ministers were to give up the powers that they now enjoy over public officers, how could they give effect to the policies and measures that the government wishes to adopt for the well being of the public? Well, if any such public officer is found wanting in any manner in the discharge of the functions and responsibilities entrusted to him by government, the minister or the member of parliament concerned should resort to the expediency of reporting such officer to the PSC, which would then deal with the errant officer independently, in terms of the governing rules and regulations, devoid of any politics.

2.3.5 Independent Police Service: The Police is the premier law enforcement agency in Sri Lanka. Presently, in view of the ongoing ethnic confrontation and threats to national security, the scope of its operations has expanded to encompass certain para military functions. During the colonial regime the Police was an instrument of repression and had to uphold the power and sovereignty of the colonial power. The rights of the indigenous people were subordinated to the dictates of the colonial rulers.

2.3.6 After independence the Police continued to pride itself in its impartiality. But, after 50 years of independence the Police has now become an instrument of the party in power to retain power violating democratic rights of the people. This process of politicization has been going on for the last 4 decades.

2.3.7 Political patronage now supersedes merit, efficiency and integrity. The Constitution guarantees all that is sacred in the freedom of the individual and the protection of human rights. The Police should not be used as an agent of repression or to interfere with the liberty of the citizens, except within the framework of the law.

2.3.8 Independent Elections Administration: The universal declaration of Human Rights (Article 21) provides that every citizen has the right to take part in the government of his country directly or through freely chosen representatives. But, in Sri Lanka the growing trend during the last few years has been to obstruct this free choice of the people through an election. To be free and fair, elections have to be conducted in an atmosphere characterized by the absence of intimidation. To that end, it is essential that obstacles to full participation at elections are removed and that the people are confident that no personal harm will befall them as a result of their participation. Political propaganda, voter education, political meetings and rallies etc., are all common elements of the election process and each must operate without unreasonable interference for that process to be free and fair. Elections cannot be fair if equal participation is not assured through non-discriminatory measures.

2.3.9 The election process is also a mechanism whose very purpose is the expression of the will of the people and therefore the right to express partisan ideas have to be firmly guarded during election periods. It is of paramount importance in the context of elections that the dissemination of all information is permitted to the maximum extent possible. Only a well informed electorate will guarantee that an election genuinely reflects the will of the people. The requirements of freedom of expression and information have important implications for fair media access and responsible media use as well.

2.3.10 Another important aspect is the freedom of assembly. In Sri Lanka there is increasing evidence of obstacles to this freedom. As long as an assembly is conducted in a non-violent manner and according to the law, it should not be disrupted or restricted. The right of assembly on the other hand should be protected and respected as political demonstrations and political rallies are an integral part of the political process.

Chapter 3

ENSURING FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

3.1 Constitutional Safeguards

3.1.1 The present constitution (1978) of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, provides for Franchise and Elections in Chapter XIV (Articles 88 to 104). Further, Articles 103 and 104 provide for the institutional arrangements for the administration of elections. i.e. the Commissioner of Elections, his powers and functions etc. The government’s draft proposals for constitutional reform provides in Chapter XIII (Articles 106 to 121) for Franchise and Elections and (Articles 110 to 112) for the administration of elections. The provisions available in both the 1978 Constitution and in the draft proposals of the government are in our view inadequate to meet the requirements of a depoliticized elections administration.

3.1.2 Both under the present Constitution and under the government’s draft proposals , the Commissioner of Elections is appointed by the President. All representations received urged that an independent and impartial election's administration be established with adequate constitutional safeguards. There was a general consensus that under the present system, the office of the Commissioner of Elections has come under increasing stress and the ability of that office to carryout its duties impartially is hampered by limitations on its powers as well as its autonomy. The frustration and helplessness of the Elections Commissioners are reflected in their post election reports, and should serve as an eye opener to any one who wants to see an end to this malaise.

3.1.3 Under these circumstances, it has become necessary to ensure that an objective , unbiased, independent and effective elections administration is put in place as a matter of high priority. This entails giving careful attention to the composition structure, method of appointment, powers and functions etc., of the proposed Independent Elections Commission. Also, the selection and appointment of personnel deployed for elections should be stipulated by law. Election staff should also be insulated from bias and political pressure.

3.2 An Independent Elections Commission

3.2.1 Elections Commissions fall into two basic types; namely, those that are organized as an oversight body where the commission acts as a policy-making and or regulatory authority with a strong administrative staff, and those where the Election Commissioners themselves take an active role in the day-to-day administration of an election. The second type of commission plays a much more active role in the day - to- day operations, and commissioners play an active part in the management of the entire election process.

3.2.2 It is our view that the second type of Elections Commission, where the commissioners themselves play an active role, is more suitable in the Sri Lanka context. This is especially so in view of the recent experience with the Bribery and Corruption Commission, which ended up with the Commission and it’s administrative staff losing rapport with each other, and the government making use of this opportunity to throttle its activities.

3.2.3 We are also of the view that an independent elections administration in the form of the proposed National Elections Commission should possess:

(a) Independence:

It is generally agreed that an Elections Commission that is free to act in the interests of all voters and not of any particular party or candidate is essential to build the trust needed so that the voters will respect the process and the results of the election.

(b) Impartiality:

Like independence, impartiality is an essential element in building trust and confidence. Generally, Elections Commissions are made of individuals who are perceived by the major political parties and the public as impartial and who enjoy their confidence. To gain the confidence of the major political parties and the public, Elections Commissions must apply the laws and regulations in a consistent and even-handed manner.

(c) Competence:

The most independent and impartial Elections Commission is ineffectual if it cannot register the voters, qualify the candidates, train the polling station officials or deliver the ballots on time. It is necessary to ensure that the Elections Commission is capable of fulfilling it’s mission. Missed deadlines, confused or undirected staff, poor communication and dialogue with political parties and the press, or general sense of disorganization and lack of direction within the Elections Commission can severely diminish its effectiveness, integrity and public acceptance.

3.3 Structure, Composition and Method of Appointment

3.3.1 In our view, the proposed National Elections Commission should not be too unwieldy. A three member National Elections Commission, as in India is proposed which we believe will be more dynamic and action oriented. The three members would be the Chief Elections Commissioner, who will be the Chairman of the Commission and two Elections Commissioners, all appointed by the President only on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, or on a joint recommendation made by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the absence of a Constitutional Council.

3.3.2 The persons recommended for appointment should not be and should not have been actively engaged in politics. It is also important that the Constitution lays down, that the salaries of the members of the National Elections Commission shall be determined by Parliament, shall be charged to the Consolidated Fund and cannot be diminished during their terms in office. The Constitution should also provide procedures for the removal of members of the National Elections Commission, on the same lines as for removal of Supreme Court Judges.

3.4 Powers and Functions

3.4.1 International standards on elections involve three control rights, namely, the right to take part in Government; the right to vote and to be elected; the right of equal access to public services. We are conscious of these standards in recommending the powers and functions of the proposed National Elections Commission. We are also conscious of the fact that the ultimate proof of "free and fair" elections will be the extent to which they facilitate the full and free expression of the political will of the people.

3.4.2 Ensuring free and fair elections requires a number of technical and legal measures designed effectively to protect the election process from bias, fraud, fear and manipulation. Such measures, in addition to the establishment of an independent elections administration should include provisions for outlawing and punishing corrupt practices, for the presence of observers and for fair media access by all parties and candidates. Our past experience of elections has shown that during an election period the importance of having an atmosphere free from discrimination is essential. It is necessary that all parties must be allowed equal access to all election events.

3.4.3 Accordingly, we are of the view that the powers and functions of the National Elections Commission should embrace all the above requirements. Therefore, the powers and functions of the National Elections Commission should include:

(a) all statutory functions vested in the Elections Commission under Chapter XIV of the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978) and under any other legislation;

(b) the supervision, direction & control of the preparation of electoral registers for all elections to the Office of the President, to the Parliament, to the Provincial Councils, to all Local Authorities, and for the conduct of Referenda;

(c) the conduct of all elections to the Office of the President, to the Parliament, to Provincial Councils, to all Local Authorities and for the conduct of Referenda;

(d) the appointment and deployment of the staff required by the National Elections Commission and the approval of funds required by Parliament outside normal budgetary procedures;

(e) deciding when necessary, to stagger the holding of elections in determined geographical areas but ensuring that votes are counted only on the completion of the total election;

(f) drawing up in consultation with political parties, regulations governing election campaigning, distribution of television and broadcasting time, utilization of private and public places and facilities for meetings etc., and on the display of banners and posters during election campaigns;

(g) monitoring the election process and ensuring compliance with the laws;

(h) ensuring equality of treatment for all citizens in all acts relating to the elections;

(i) ensuring equal opportunity and treatment for all candidates, political parties, and independent groups at an election;

(j) prescribing procedures for collection of funds for election campaigns and limits for expenditure at elections and reviewing of election accounts;

(k) with a view to ensuring the highest degree of impartiality in the electoral process, inviting appropriate international or foreign organizations or persons as well as appropriate local organizations or persons, as observers at elections;

(l) prescribing heavy penalties for unauthorized entry into Polling Booths, Counting Centers or their precincts;

(m) providing for granting of insurance cover, compensation and other benefits to election staff in the event of accidents, injury or death;

(n) permitting access to accredited Non Governmental Organizations to polling stations and to counting centres;

(o) preparing, in consultation with political parties, a code of conduct during election campaigns and monitoring violations of the code of conduct where they amount to election offenses;

(p) canceling and holding fresh elections in identified electoral districts, if the National Elections Commission is satisfied that there has been a disruption to the free exercise of the vote due to violence or in any other manner;

(q) in consultation with the Police Commission, granting of Police Powers to senior election staff, not below the rank of a Senior Presiding Officer of a Polling Station, during an election.

3.5 Safeguards Against Administrative Throttling

3.5.1 Provisions of the law should ensure that an objective, unbiased, independent & effective administrative structure on elections is in place. This emphasizes careful attention to provisions for appointment, remuneration, duties, powers and qualifications and reporting structure of the members of the National Elections Commission and it’s staff. At all levels staff must be insulated from bias and political pressure and a single line of ultimate authority should be established.

3.5.2 We recommend therefore that legal guarantees should be in place to insulate the elections administration from bias or corruption. These guarantees can be provided in other legislation related to elections as well. Adequate safeguards should be provided to prevent administrative throttling by withholding funds, withdrawing law officers, and Police investigators, and transferring out the staff assigned to the National Elections Commission.

3.6 Election Administration and Monitoring

3.6.1 The National Elections Commission shall have the power to appoint Provincial & District Election Commissioners and other staff as necessary in consultation with the Public Service Commission or the relevant agencies. However, such appointees should not be removed or transferred without the consent of the National Elections Commission. In the conduct of Elections a single line of ultimate authority should be established with all personnel deployed for an election coming under the direction and control of the National Elections Commission.

3.6.2 Another important aspect in the elections administration is the role of Police and Security Forces. They play a dual role in an election setting. Effective administration of justice during an election period requires a balancing between the need for election security and the maintenance of law and order, and on the importance of non-interference with rights and privileges of the voters. The Police and Security Forces have a duty to prevent attempts at electoral frauds, impersonations, bribery , intimidation or any other acts that may frustrate the authenticity of election results. Therefore, it is essential, that the Police and Security Forces deployed for election duty and election related duties are under the direction and supervision of the National Elections Commission.

3.6.3 Today, the use of election observers is the accepted norm in many countries. The use of such observers can provide an effective means of verifying the genuineness of the election outcome. In addition, the presence of observers will decrease the likelihood of intimidation or fraud. Furthermore, neutral objective observers can still have confidence in the electorate and thereby increase not only their willingness to participate in the election process, but also their ability to freely express their political will in the polling booth, without fear of reprisal. In order to maximize the benefits that non-partisan observers can contribute, they should be legally afforded free movement and access to all electoral events and should be protected from harm and from interference with their official duties. It is also important that the presence of observers is made widely known and recognised by the electorate. The observation and verification of election preparations, voting and counting by non partisan observers helps to secure public confidence in the elections process and also prevent possible abuses. The power to invite such observers should be vested in the National Elections Commission.

3.7 Consequential Legislative Amendments

3.7.1 In view of the Constitutional Provisions recommended for the establishment of the National Elections Commission, it would be necessary to make certain amendments to the existing legislation related to elections, provide new subsidiary legislation and administrative regulations.

3.7.2 Some of the legislation that would have to be amended or replaced include.

(1) Registration of Electors Act No. 44 of 1980

(2) Parliamentary Elections Act No. 1 of 1981

(3) Referendum Act No. 7 of 1981

(4) Presidential Elections Act No 15 of 1981

(5) Provincial Councils Elections Act No. 15 of 1987

(6) Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 1988

(7) Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act No. 15 of 1988

(8) Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act No. 29 of 1988

(9) Local Authorities Elections Ordinance Chapter 262 : 1989

Chapter 4

DEPOLITICIZATION OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE

4.1 Neutrality of the Public Service

4.1.1 The Citizens Consultation identified the Public Service as one of the key institutions that needs to be speedily depoliticized if it were to serve the interests of a free and democratic society. An efficient and politically neutral public service is universally regarded as one of the essential pillars of freedom and equality. It is obvious that an efficient bureaucracy requires selection on merit and not recruitment on the basis of political patronage. Therefore the key to an impartial, competent, stable and helpful public service must lie in a mechanism that has the power to determine the recruitment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary control of public officials. These critical functions must be divorced, as far as possible, from the control of political authorities that will invariably attempt to use the public service to further their own partisan political interests.

4.1.2 The just and equitable distribution of the scarce resources of the country among the population, such as land - for agriculture and housing, water -for irrigation and drinking, jobs-especially in government service and the public corporate sector, school enrollment, etc depend on an impartial public service. Similarly the conduct of free and fair elections which truly reflect the will of the people, and the avoidance of manipulation of the electoral process, depends primarily on a non-partisan public service.

4.1.3 The efficiency and timeliness in the distribution of these "goods and services" largely depends, in the modern democratic State, on the public service. How to ensure the neutrality and impartiality of the public service is therefore a task of paramount importance. The recommendations below on the Public Service Commission address this critical objective.

4.2 The Removal of Essential Constitutional Safeguards

4.2.1 When Sri Lanka received Independence in 1948, the Constitution, in the best spirit of parliamentary democracy ensured a non- partisan and efficient public service by providing for " the appointment, promotion, transfer and disciplinary control of the public service by the Public Service Commission." The independence of the PSC itself was secured by the appointment of its members being made by the Head of the State on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The convention which was invariably followed by the Prime Minister in terms of the Constitution of the time was to recommend to the Governor-General for appointment to the PSC ( 3 members) only those of unimpeachable quality and integrity. The neutrality and non-partisan nature of the public service was thus ensured to a great extent as the decisions of the PSC regarding appointments, promotions, transfers and disciplinary control were uninfluenced by party political considerations.

4.2.2 This extremely desirable state of affairs was drastically altered in 1972 with the First Republican Constitution. Based on the erroneous assumption that a public service responsive to the aspirations of the people could only be achieved by bringing the public service under the control of the political authorities directly, the Public Service Commission was abolished and the appointment, promotion, transfer and disciplinary control of the public service was brought under the direction and control of the Cabinet of Ministers. The vital constitutional safeguard for a neutral and impartial public service - the Public Service Commission itself, was summarily done away with. Thereafter the public service became 'willy nilly' the creature of the dominant political authority of the time, and a fundamental tenet of parliamentary democracy, an impartial and fair public service, was irrevocably transgressed.

4.2.3 Regrettably the 1978 Constitution (the Second Republican Constitution) did not materially change the situation in regard to the impartiality and neutrality of the public service. The Public Service Commission was reintroduced but with limited delegated powers to deal with public officers below the rank of Head of Department. The ultimate authority for the appointment, promotion, transfer and disciplinary control of public officers continued to be vested under Article 55, in the Cabinet of Ministers. Moreover, the powers of the PSC regarding appointments, transfers or dismissals, or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter, was subject to the overriding power of the Cabinet of Ministers, under Article 59 to " alter, vary or rescind" any such decision. This is the situation that prevails even today.

4.2.4 The draft constitutional provisions that have now been placed before the public (October 1997) consequent to the Select Committee of Parliament process in which all the major political parties participated, could provide with some modification the essential constitutional safeguards, to transform the public service into the impartial and efficient administrative machine that a dynamic and modern democratic state deserves.

4.3 Consequential Constitutional Amendments

4.3 .1 We gave serious and careful consideration to the position of the Secretary to the Ministry (earlier Permanent Secretary) as this impacts significantly on the neutrality and impartiality of the public service. Under the system of parliamentary democracy practiced in most Commonwealth countries, the post of Secretary to the Minister is regarded as a quasi-political post. This is so as the incumbent is the Minister's closest official and the interface between the political minister and the public servants that implement the policy of the government. For this reason when a public servant is appointed as a Secretary, he is not deemed to be a member of the public service and derives his appointment directly from the President or Head of State on the advice of the Prime Minister.

4.3.2 Secretaries sometimes come from outside the Public Service, as many excellent ones have come, from the field of business, banking, the legal profession or academia. (Incidentally one of the first Secretaries appointments to be made from outside the public service in Sri Lanka was that of Mr. Anandatissa de Alwis as Mr. J. R. Jayewardene's Secretary in the Ministry of State, in the Dudley Senanayake's Cabinet of 1965-70.) The 1978 Constitution, for example, provides under Article 52 (1) that "There shall be for each Ministry a Secretary who shall be appointed by the President, and the Secretary to the Ministry shall, subject to the direction and control of his Minister, exercise supervision over the Departments of Government or other institutions in the charge of his Minister."

4.3.3 We discussed the possibility of the Secretary too being placed under the PSC. However we felt that this would be too drastic a change from past practice and relationships between Minister and Secretary and may lead to a situation wherein the Minister is not able to get through his policy agenda. We therefore recommend no alteration in the present practice regarding the appointment of Secretary. The fact that under our proposals the public service will in future be under the PSC and not under the Cabinet of Ministers as at present will act as sufficient countervailing influence to forestall partisan implementation of policy.

4.3.4 We however wish to recommend, in order that only persons of sufficient ability and quality are appointed as Secretaries that such appointments by the President be made with the prior approval of the Constitutional Council. This we feel would meet any concerns regarding suitability and are a sufficient check on arbitrariness in selecting persons for this crucial position.

4.4 Safeguards Against Administrative Throttling

4.4.1 While these Constitutional provisions would meet the objectives of an impartial and an independent Public Service Commission to a great extent, administrative action or non-action especially in the way of delay or denial of PSC requests for financial, technical and manpower resources could well render the PSC ineffective or impotent.

4.4.2 The way to prevent this 'throttling' of the work of key institutions by the political bureaucracy - especially by say, sources close to the top leadership, would be by providing the PSC with adequate financial resources which cannot be diminished by administrative fiat but must require resolution by Parliament. Since it would be inconvenient to provide budgetary funds separately for each of the key institutions it is proposed that access be provided to the PSC to funds which could be made available in the Budget to the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council itself could determine whether the request for resources was reasonable or not and make provision accordingly.

4.4.3 The recommended provisions provide for penal sanctions and enhanced fines for persons who interfere in the decision-making process of the PSC. The penal sanction has been raised to 5 years and the fine to Rs.25,000 for the offense and should be sufficient to thwart attempts at interference with the PSC.

4.4.4 We recommend that easy access be provided to all public officers who feel they have been victimized to appeal to the Ombudsman for relief or to the Supreme Court for redress from violation of their fundamental rights. We feel that if the PSC is freed of political interference, the existing disciplinary procedures should suffice to deal with instances where public servants are charged with incompetence, inefficiency, insubordination etc.

4.4.5 Under the present constitution only the Supreme Court has the power and the jurisdiction to inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question any order or decision of the PSC, a Committee of the PSC or of a public officer in regard to any matter concerning the appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control of a public officer. This is too remote and cumbersome and therefore public servants should be able to seek a remedy in any Court of Law. We have therefore not included in our proposals the present limitations on the filing of action by public servants.

4.4.6 We are unable to make any specific recommendations with regard to the nature, composition, powers and functions of Provincial Public Service Commissions as the devolution proposals are still under consideration. However, we would like the Provincial Public Service Commissions also to be vested with the same degree of independence, autonomy and made eligible for the same safeguards that are to be granted to the National Public Service Commission.

Chapter 5

ENSURING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE POLICE SERVICE

5.1 Neutrality of the Police Service

5.1.1 The Police Service was established under the Police Ordinance which dates back to the year 1865. This service is still principally governed by the provisions of the Police Ordinance. Since 1948 the Police Service has been regulated by the Rules of the PSC as well. The Police is the premier law enforcement agency in Sri Lanka. Presently, in view of the ongoing terrorist confrontation and threats to national security and territorial integrity the scope of its operations has expanded to encompass limited military functions.

5.1.2 The depoliticization of the Police Service was one of the important pledges contained in the 1994 Election Manifesto of the Peoples Alliance. In page 28 under the heading "Police and Armed Forces" the PA Manifesto stated as follows:

"a fully democratic society which we pledge to uphold, requires that every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law. One of the primary institutions through which this objective can be achieved is an independent, efficient and contented police organization. In order to restore its credibility and render it an efficient and professional instrument dedicated to serving the community with justice and fair play, the PA will take steps to introduce the necessary legislation and institutional mechanisms to ensure the independence of the Head of the Police and the Service from political pressures and influence."

5.1.3 We agree with this statement more than one hundred percent. What we are attempting in this Chapter is to give teeth to this commitment.

5.1.4 Since independence, progressively the Police Service has undergone a much higher degree of politicization than the much politicized Public Service. We now have a Police Service that cannot be described as efficient or effective. Morale is low and public confidence is lacking. The Police image is poor. It does not attract public respect or cooperation. All these stem from the Police being unable to perform their duties free from political interference. We are of the view that the establishment of an independent National Police Service Commission would strengthen public confidence in the Police Service while guaranteeing to every citizen equal protection under the law.

5.2 Essential Constitutional Safeguards

5.2.1 With a view to preventing administrative throttling of the National Police Service Commission by the executive arm of the government, we recommend that the funds for the National Police Service Commission be voted by Parliament in the Budget of the Constitutional Council. We are also recommending heavy penalties for interference in the work of the National Police service Commission.

5.2.2 Another essential safeguard against police excesses will be the creation of an Office of Police Ombudsman by an Act of Parliament. The Police Ombudsman should be empowered to receive complaints from members of the public as well as Police personnel who have been denied equal and fair treatment by the Police and for subjecting them to illegal action or police excesses. The Police Ombudsman should have the powers of a semi judicial nature to conduct independent investigations and inquiries and grant redress to aggrieved parties in keeping with the tenets of natural justice.

5.2.3 We are unable to make any specific recommendations with regard to the nature, composition, powers and functions of the Provincial Police Service Commissions as the devolution proposals are still under consideration. However, we would like the Provincial Police Service Commissions also to be vested with the same degree of independence, autonomy and made eligible for the same safeguards that are to be granted to the National Police Service Commission.

Chapter 6

JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE - A CORNERSTONE OF THE DEPOLITICIZATION PROCESS

6.1 A Strong and Independent Judiciary

6.1.1 Though our mandate does not directly cover making proposals in respect of the Judiciary we feel that the depoliticization of the Public Service, and of the Election machinery would not be of much value unless there exists a Judiciary which can strictly and impartially enforce the laws dealing with these matters. The Rule of Law ought to permeate the functioning of all these institutions, and hence a strong, independent Judiciary to uphold and enforce the laws in a non discriminatory and equal manner is a sine qua non of a democratic society.

6.1.2 The recent experiences of the Judiciary suggests that measures should be taken to strengthen and preserve the independence, albeit fragile, which it now possesses. We have therefore suggested certain fundamental changes to the Constitution which we have outlined below and which we hope will achieve this objective.

6.2 Appointment of Judges

6.2.1 A matter which causes concern is the seemingly unfettered discretion under the present law for the President to appoint the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the other Judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The Government’s proposals have now brought in a requirement for the President "to ascertain the views" of the Chief Justice prior to making these appointments (except regarding the appointment of Chief Justice himself in which event the President seems to continue to have an unfettered discretion). We find that the present proposals are inadequate to preserve and strengthen judicial independence.

6.2.2 It is our view that the President should not have any discretion at all in the matter of appointment of the President of the Court of Appeal or the Judges of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal but the task of selecting such Judges should be left to an appropriate body perhaps called the "Judicial Appointments Council" consisting of the Chief Justice, Senior Judicial Officers and the leaders of the official and unofficial bar who can convey their selection through the Chief Justice to the President, who will be bound by law to make the appointments. We have made a similar proposal with regard to the Judges of the High Court.

6.2.3 It is worthwhile referring to Article 10 of the resolution on the Basic Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary adopted at the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime where it is stated that: "Persons selected for judicial office shall be individuals of integrity and ability with appropriate training or qualifications in law. Any method of judicial selection shall safeguard against judicial appointments for improper motives. In the selection of judges, there shall be no discrimination against a person on the grounds or race, colour, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or status...."

6.2.4 As Shimon Shetreet in his work "Judges on Trial" states: "The consideration weighed in the process of choosing Judges are manifold. The professional record of the person considered for appointment is carefully examined, but his private life, personal character and general views are equally scrutinized... In brief, short of moral turpitude, the considerations for appointment are on the whole a weighing and balancing process."

6.2.5 We feel that the selection should be done by a body competent to do it and not by the Executive which is least competent in this regard. It is also relevant to mention that in 1985 the Law Commission of India made a similar proposal which has not yet been accepted for reasons which are obvious. We hope a similar fate does not befall this proposal, as we feel that its early acceptance would to a great extent remedy some of the misperceptions entertained by the public regarding the Judiciary and would also strengthen its independence by severing the unholy link between the Executive and the Judiciary.

6.3 Appointment of the Chief Justice

6.3.1 We are also strongly of the view that in the appointment of the Chief Justice himself the discretion given to the President should be whittled down drastically by requiring the careful scrutinisation and the final approval of the Constitutional Council prior to the appointment being made by the President. We have included this in our proposals concerning the Constitutional Council.

6.4 Appointment of Members of Judicial Service Commission

6.4.1 We have also in order to preserve judicial independence made a recommendation that the members of the Judicial Service Commission shall consist of the Chief Justice and two other Judges of the Supreme Court recommended by the Chief Justice but appointed by the President. We feel that the President should not have any discretion with regard to the appointment of these two members but leave the selection to the Chief Justice who can select the most appropriate Judges for this purpose.

6.5 Employment of Judges After Retirement

6.5.1 Another important recommendation which we have made is that no Judge should accept a place of profit or emolument in the public service, which will prevent Judges from being appointed to Commissions soon after retirement. We hope this stipulation will act as a deterrent to any judge who might feel that he can enjoy post-retirement benefits by holding with or to the advantage of the Government in power.

6.6 Administrative and Financial Management of Superior Courts

6.6.1 We have also in our recommendations relating to the Constitutional Council recommended that the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal should not come within the administrative or the financial management of the Presidential Secretariat but should be brought under the Constitutional Council.

Chapter 7

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL - A FURTHER CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARD

7.1 The Need for a Constitutional Council

7.1.1 The politicization of appointments to key institutions such as the Public Service Commission since independence in 1948, has been one of the root-causes of discontent, frustration and insecurity among state sector employees. It is an indisputable fact that there are certain functions and services in public life which transcend political differences and short-term interests of political parties. Among them are the institutions dealing with Justice, Elections, Public Service and Police. This obnoxious practice of politicization of key democratic institutions has also been a contributory factor leading to the mistrust, suspicion and the widening gap between the majority community and the minority communities.

7.1.2 We are strongly of the view that the reversal of this pernicious process is now an urgent necessity. The vast majority of our people are today on the brink of losing faith in the integrity and the independence of democratic institutions such as the Public Service, Police Service and the Elections Department. Such institutions should have the power and authority to determine systems, methods and procedures and regulate their work without political interference and free of political victimization. Also, they should be granted full autonomy and independence to work out their own schemes, internal systems and rules with regard to appointments, dismissals, promotions, transfers and disciplinary control of employees coming within their purview.

7.1.3 The public outrage against politicization is so great that depoliticization of key democratic institutions should take place before the people get disillusioned with the usefulness of democratic institutions, systems of government as well as democracy itself. This should be regarded as an essential prerequisite to restoring public confidence in vital segments of the administrative machinery. With this objective in view we recommend the establishment of a Constitutional Council to be responsible for nominating personnel for appointment to Independent Commissions which must be established by the Constitution.

7.1.4 Further, we recommend the strengthening of the hands of the Judiciary to safeguard the independence and autonomy of these Independent Commissions. We are of the view that these Independent Commissions should be made responsible and answerable to Parliament through the Constitutional Council and not to the Executive. Moreover certain checks and balances should be built into the Constitution and to the relevant legislation to ensure that these Independent Commissions do not become a law unto themselves while at the same time safeguarding them against administrative throttling by the Executive.

7.2 The Composition of the Council

7.2.1 We are of the view that the proposal to create a Constitutional Council in the Government’s proposals is another positive development in the law. However, the composition of the Council is weighted very much in favour of the government. We feel that in order for such a Council to perform meaningfully in the context of depoliticization, the strong government bias in its composition has to be evened out. It is also imperative that there should be a noticeable independent and neutral presence in the Council to deflect the partisanship of the political members of the Council. We are therefore recommending the inclusion of seven (7) more non-political members in the Council.

7.3 Powers and Functions

7.3.1 Also, we are recommending the inclusion of nine (9) Commissions such as the National Elections Commission, the Delimitation Commission, etc., in the Schedule of posts to be filled on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council and several high posts including the post of the Chief Justice in the Schedule of officials to be approved by the Council. The reasons for these inclusions appear elsewhere in our recommendations. We wish to emphasize that such nominations should be made only after a proper scrutiny of the credentials of such persons to ensure their suitability to hold such posts. It is important that the Council does not act as a rubber stamp to endorse nominees of others. Further, in the event of a change in the system of government from the Executive Presidential System to the Westminster System it will be necessary to introduce certain consequential constitutional amendments with regard to the composition, powers, functions and the respective roles of the Constitutional Council, the President and the Prime Minister in particular.

7.4 Administrative and Financial Autonomy

7.4.1 We have referred elsewhere to the need to free some of the key institutions such as the Superior Courts, the Elections Department, Bribery and Corruption Commission and such other institutions of improper administrative controls which impinge on their independence and impartiality. We therefore suggest that such institutions be brought under the Constitutional Council for administrative and financial purposes. The Secretary of the Council can perform the role which is currently played by the Secretary to the President in respect of these institutions.

Chapter 8

RECOMMENDED CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

8.1 National Elections Commission

8.1.1 The following Constitutional Provisions are recommended for the establishment of the National Elections Commission:

1. There shall be a National Elections Commission which shall consist of a Chief Elections Commissioner and two Elections Commissioners.

2. The Chief Elections Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the National Elections Commission.

3. The Chief Elections Commissioner and the two Elections Commissioners shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council (until the formation of the Constitutional Council upon a joint recommendation by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to the President).

4. The salary of the Chief Elections Commissioner and Elections Commissioners shall be determined by Parliament, shall be charged to the consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during their terms of office.

5. The posts of Chief Elections Commissioner and Elections Commissioners shall become vacant:

(a) upon the death of the Chief Elections Commissioner or of an Elections Commissioner;

(b) on resignation from office addressed to the President;

(c) on the Chief Elections Commissioner or an Elections Commissioner attaining the age of 65 years;

(d) on the removal of the Chief Elections Commissioner or and Elections Commissioner by the President on a recommendation made by the Constitutional Council (or by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the absence of an Constitutional Council) on account of ill health or physical or mental infirmity; and

(e) On the removal of the Chief Elections Commissioner or an Elections Commissioner by the President after an address of Parliament supported by two thirds of the Members of Parliament (including those not present) for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour.

Provided that no resolution of such an address shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament unless notice of such resolution is signed by not less than one third of the total number of Members of Parliament and sets out full particulars of the alleged misbehaviour. Parliament shall by law or by Standing Order provide for all matters relating to the presentation of such an address.

6. (a) The President shall appoint one of the two Elections Commissioners to act as Chief Elections Commissioner whenever the Chief Elections Commissioner is unable to discharge the functions of his/her office.

(b) The President shall appoint a person to act as Elections Commissioner on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council (or the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the absence of the Constitutional Council) whenever an Elections Commissioner is unable to discharge his/her functions, or whenever an Elections Commissioner has been appointed to act as Chief Elections Commissioner under paragraph (a) above;

7. The Constitutional Council (or the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition in the absence of the Constitutional Council) may in exceptional circumstances recommend to the President, to permit the Chief Elections Commissioner or an Elections Commissioner who has reached the age of 65 years to continue in office for a period not exceeding Twelve Months.

8 No person who has held office of the Chief Elections Commissioner or Elections Commissioner may for a period of 3 years after retirement accept any place of profit and emolument in the Public Service or any public office whatsoever.

9. (a) The Elections Commission shall exercise, perform or discharge all such powers, duties or functions as may be conferred or imposed or vested in the Commission by the law for the time being in force relating to elections to all Local Authorities, all Provincial Councils, the office of President of the Republic and of Members of Parliament and to Referenda or by any other written law.

(b) Wherever any law refers to the Commissioner of Elections, it shall be deemed to be a reference to the Elections Commission.

10. Without prejudice to the above, the National Elections Commission shall:

(a) supervise, direct and be in charge and control of the preparation of electoral registers for all elections to the Office of the President or Parliament, to the Provincial Councils, to all Local Authorities, and for conduct of Referenda;

(b) supervise, direct and be in charge and control of the conduct of all elections to the Office of President, to Parliament, the Provincial Councils and to all Local Authorities;

(c) select and deploy the staff required for performing and discharging the functions and duties of the National Elections Commission.

11. (a) The National Elections Commission shall take all steps within their power to ensure that elections are free and fair;

(b) It shall be the duty of every person, official body, or authority who is assisting, contesting, participating or whose services have been required or sought to take all steps within their control to ensure that elections are free and fair.

12. Parliament shall upon the coming into effect of these provisions provide by law for:

(a) giving the Commission such other powers which will enable the Commission to conduct and hold free and fair elections and to perform and discharge its other powers and duties effectively;

(b) the proper monitoring of the electoral process and ensuring and enforcing compliance with the laws relating to elections and for seeking orders from any court for that purpose;

(c) ensuring that all citizens are treated equally in relation to the exercise of their franchise;

(d) ensuring that equal opportunity and treatment is provided to all candidates irrespective of their party or political affiliations;

(e) the Commission to have such powers where it deems necessary to stagger the holding of elections in determined geographical areas where it is not possible for any valid reason to have the election in that area on the date fixed for such election but ensuring that votes are counted only on the completion of the total election or for disregarding such votes if the totality of the votes from that geographical area would not in any event affect the result of the election;

(f) for making regulations, which the Election Commission deems necessary in consultation with recognised parties governing election campaigning, the allocation and distribution of television and broadcasting time on the utilization of private and public places and facilities, on the display of banners and posters during election campaigns;

(g) prescribing heavy penalties for unauthorized entry into Polling Booths, Counting Centers or their precincts;

(h) providing for granting of insurance cover, compensation and other benefits to election staff in the event of accidents, injury or death;

(i) prescribing procedures for collection of funds for election campaigns and limits for expenditure at elections and revision of election accounts;

(j) permitting the Elections Commission with a view to ensuring the highest degree of impartiality in the electoral process, to invite appropriate international or foreign organizations or persons as well as appropriate local organizations or persons, as observers at elections and permitting access to such persons or bodies to polling stations and to counting centres;

(k) preparing, in consultation with political parties, a Code of Conduct during election campaigns and for monitoring of violations of such Code of Conduct;

(l) canceling and holding fresh elections in identified electoral districts, if the National Elections Commission is satisfied that there has been a disruption to the free exercise of the vote due to violence or in any other manner; and

(m) granting in consultation with the Inspector General of Police, Police powers to senior election staff not below the rank of Senior Presiding Officer during elections.

13. The National Elections Commission shall endeavour to take all decisions with the concurrence of all its members but in the event unanimity is not possible, the decision of the majority of its members shall prevail.

14. (a) The Public Service Commission shall appoint on the recommendation of the National Elections Commission, such Provincial Elections Commissioners and District Elections Commissioners, as the National Elections Commission may consider necessary to assist the Commission in the performance of its powers and functions.

(b) Any Provincial Elections Commissioner or District Elections Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation or with the concurrence of the National Elections Commission.

15. (a) The Service Commanders and the Inspector General of Police shall whenever so requested by the National Elections Commission to enable the Commission to exercise and perform its powers or discharge the duties under the law provide such assistance to the National Elections Commission, or to Provincial Elections Commissioners or to District Elections Commissioners, by directing such Police and Armed Services personnel under their command to render such assistance.

(b) Officers and the staff deployed for the conduct of elections including personnel of the Police and Armed Services, whilst on election duty shall be subjected to the direction and control of the National Elections Commission.

16. For the purpose of Chapter IX of the Penal Code a member of the National Elections Commission should be deemed to be a public servant.

17. Every person who, otherwise than in the course of his duty, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision of the National Elections Commission, or of any member of such Commission, or of any public officer exercising any powers delegated by such Commission, shall be guilty of an offense, and shall on conviction by the High Court after trial without a jury be liable to a fine not exceeding Twenty Five Thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

18. A person appointed to any office referred to in this Chapter shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he takes and subscribes the oath or makes and subscribes the affirmation set out in Schedule.

8.2 National Public Service Commission

8.2.1 The following Constitutional Provisions are recommended for the establishment of the National Public Service Commission.

1. The President shall appoint all public officers required by the Constitution or other written law to be appointed by the President, as well as the Attorney-General and the Heads of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Police Force, provided that any public officer required to be appointed with the approval or on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council shall be appointed only in conformity with such approval or recommendation.

2. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal and disciplinary control of all national public servants shall be vested in the National Public Service Commission. Save as otherwise provided by the Constitution, all national public officers shall hold office at pleasure.

3. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers shall provide for and determine all matters of policy relating to national public officers.

4. (a) The National Public Service Commission shall consist of five (5) persons appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The President shall nominate one of the members of the Commission to be the Chairman.

(b) No person shall be appointed or continue as a member of the Public Service Commission if he is a Member of Parliament.

(c) Every person who, immediately before his appointment as a member of the Public Service Commission, was a public officer or a judicial officer shall, when such appointment takes effect, cease to hold such office, and shall be ineligible for further appointment as a public officer or judicial officer, provided that any such person shall, until he ceases to be a member of the Public Service Commission, or while continuing to be such a member, attains the age at which he would, if he were a public officer or a judicial officer, as the case may be, be required to retire, be deemed to be a public officer or a judicial officer, and to hold a pensionable office in the service of the State, for the purposes of any provision relating to the grant of pensions, gratuities or other allowances in respect of such service.

5. Every member of the Public Service Commission shall hold office for a period of six (6) years from the date of his appointment, unless he earlier resigns his office by a writing under his hand and addressed to the President, or is removed from office by the President for cause assigned with prior approval of the Constitutional Council, but shall be eligible for reappointment.

6. The President may grant leave from his duties to any member of the Public Service Commission and may appoint a person qualified to be a member of the Public Service Commission to be temporary member for the period of such leave.

7. A member of the Public Service Commission shall be paid such salary as may be determined by Parliament. The salary payable to any such member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during his term of office.

8. There shall be a Secretary to the Public Service Commission who shall be appointed by the Commission.

9. The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be three members.

10. The Public Service Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceeding of the Commission shall be, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

11. For the purposes of Chapter IX of the Penal Code, a member of the Public Service Commission shall be deemed to be a public servant.

12. For the purpose of this Article, "public officer" does not include a member of the Army, Navy, or Air Force.

13. (a) The Public Service Commission may delegate to a Committee of the Public Service Commission consisting of three members as shall be named by the Commission the powers of appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal or disciplinary control in respect of such categories of public officers as are specified by the Commission.

(b) Where the Chairman of the Commission is a member of the Committee so appointed, he shall be the Chairman of the Committee, and where he is not, a member of the Committee as may be nominated in writing by such Chairman, shall be the Chairman of that Committee.

(c) There shall be a Secretary to each such Committee who shall be appointed by the Public Service Commission.

(d) The quorum for any meeting of any such Committee shall be two members.

(e) Any such Committee shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and any act or proceeding of any such Committee shall not be, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

14. (a) The Public Service Commission or any Committee thereof may delegate to a public officer, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the Public Service Commission, its powers of appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal or disciplinary control of any category of public officers.

(b) Any public officer aggrieved by any order of transfer or of dismissal, or any other Order relating to a disciplinary matter made by a public officer to whom the Public Service Commission or any Committee thereof has delegated its powers under the preceding paragraphs, shall have a right of appeal to the Public Service Commission or such Committee, as the case may be.

(c) The Public Service Commission shall have the power to alter, vary or rescind any appointment, order of transfer, promotion or dismissal or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made, on appeal or otherwise by a Committee to which the Public Service Commission has delegated its powers or by a public officer to whom the Public Service Commission or any Committee thereof has delegated his powers under Article 2.

15. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Public Service Commission shall provide for and determine all matters relating to public officers, including the formulation of schemes of recruitment, and codes of conduct for public officers, the principles to be followed in making promotions and transfers, and the procedure for the exercise and the delegation of the powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal, and disciplinary control of public officers.

16. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and until the Public Service Commission otherwise provides, the rules, regulations, and procedures relating to the public service that were in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution shall, mutatis mutandis, be deemed to continue in force as rules, regulations and procedures relating to the public service as if they had been made or provided under the Constitution.

17. Every person who, otherwise than in the course of his duty, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision of the Public Service Commission, or of any Committee thereof, or of any member of such Commission or of any public officer exercising any powers delegated by such Commission or Committee, shall be guilty of an offense, and shall on conviction by the High Court after trial without a jury be liable to a fine not exceeding Twenty Five Thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment, provided that nothing in this Article shall prohibit any person from giving a certificate or testimonial to any applicant or candidate for any public office.

18. A person appointed to any office referred to in this Chapter shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he takes and subscribes the oath or makes and subscribes the affirmation set out in the Schedule.

8.3 National Police Service Commission

8.3.1 The following Constitutional provisions are recommended for the establishment of the National Police Service Commission.

1. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal and disciplinary control of all police officers shall be vested in the National Police Service Commission.

2. Save as otherwise provided by the Constitution, all national police officers shall hold office at pleasure.

3. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers shall provide for and determine all matters of general policy relating to national police officers.

4. (a) The National Police Service Commission shall consist five (5) persons appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The President shall nominate one of the members of the Commission to be the Chairman.

(b) No person shall be appointed or continue as a member of the National Police Service Commission if he is a Member of Parliament.

(c) Every person who, immediately before his appointment as a member of the National Police Service Commission, was a public officer or a judicial officer shall, when such appointment takes effect, cease to hold such office, and shall be ineligible for further appointment as a public officer or judicial officer. Provided that any such person shall, until he ceases to be a member of the National Police Service Commission, or while continuing to be such a member, attains the age at which he would, if he were a public officer or a judicial officer, as the case may be, be required to retire, be deemed to be a public officer or a judicial officer, and to hold a pensionable office in the service of the State, for the purposes of any provision relating to the grant of pensions, gratuities or other allowances in respect of such service.

5. Every member of the National Police Service Commission shall hold office for a period of six (6) years from the date of his appointment, unless he earlier resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President, or is removed from office by the President for cause assigned with the prior approval of the Constitutional Council, but shall be eligible for re-appointment.

6. The President may grant leave from his duties to any member of the National Police Service Commission and may appoint a person qualified to be a member of the National Police Service Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.

7. A member of the National Police Service Commission shall be paid such salary as may be determined by Parliament. The salary payable to any such member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during his term of office.

8. There shall be a Secretary to the National Police Service Commission who shall be appointed by the Commission.

9. The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be three (3) members.

10. The National Police Service Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceeding of the Commission shall be, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

11. For the purposes of Chapter IX of the Penal Code, a member of the National Police Commission shall be deemed to be a public servant.

12. (a) The National Police Service Commission may delegate to a Committee of National Police Service Commission consisting of three (3) members and shall be named by the Commission the powers of appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal or disciplinary control in respect of such categories of police officers as are specified by the Commission.

(b) Where the Chairman of the Commission is a member of the Committee so appointed, he shall be the Chairman of the Committee, and where he is not, a member of the Committee as may be nominated in writing by such Chairman, shall be the Chairman of that Committee.

(c) There shall be a Secretary to each such Committee who shall be appointed by the National Police Service Commission.

13. The quorum for any meeting of any such Committee shall be two (2) members.

14. Any such Committee shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and any act or proceeding of any such Committee shall not be, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

15. The National Police Service Commission shall have the power to alter, vary or rescind any appointment, order of transfer, promotion, dismissal or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made, on appeal or otherwise by a Committee to which the National Police Service Commission has delegated its powers.

16. The Commission may appoint a Promotions Board and a Transfer Board each consisting of not more than three (3) persons one of whom shall be a person who has held high judicial office to make recommendations to the Commission in relation to promotions and transfers of officers of the category of Assistant Superintendent of Police and above.

17. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the National Police Commission shall provide for and determine all matters relating to Police officers, including the formulation of schemes of recruitment, and codes of conduct for Police officers, the principles to be followed in making promotions and transfers, and the procedure for the exercise and the delegation of the powers of appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal, and disciplinary control of Police officers.

18. Subject to the provision of the Constitution and until the National Police Service Commission otherwise provides, the rules, regulations, and procedures relating to the public service that were in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution shall, mutatis mutandis, be deemed to continue in force as rules, regulations and procedures relating the public service as if they had been made or provided under the Constitution.

19. Every person who, otherwise than in the course of his duty, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision of the National Police Service Commission, or of any Committee thereof, or of any member of such Commission or of any member of the Promotions or Transfer Board, shall be guilty of an offense, and shall on conviction by the High Court after trial without a jury be liable to a fine not exceeding Twenty Five Thousand Rupees (Rs.25,000/=) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years or to both such fine and such imprisonment and fine. Provided that nothing in this Article shall prohibit any person from giving a certificate or testimonial to any applicant or candidate for any public office.

8.4 The Judiciary

8.4.1 The following Constitutional Provisions are recommended for the creation of a stronger and more independent Judiciary:

Judicial Appointments Council

1. (a) The Chief Justice, shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his/her hand after obtaining the approval of the Constitutional Council.

(b) Every other Judge of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge of the Court of Appeal shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his/her hand on the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Council conveyed through the Chief Justice.

2. There shall be a Judicial Appointments Council which shall consist of the following:

(a) The Chief Justice (Chairman and Convenor)

(b) The Attorney-General

(c) The two most senior Judges of the Supreme Court

(d) The President of the Court of Appeal

(e) The Solicitor General

(f) One of the most senior President’s Counsel nominated by the Chief Justice.

Provided that in the matter of the appointment of a Judge of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal shall not be a member of such Council and the next senior Judge of the Supreme Court shall temporarily act in his place.

Judges of Superior Courts

3. (a) The Chief Justice and every such Judge shall hold office during good behaviour, and shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour. or incapacity.

(b) Provided that no resolution for the presentation of such an address shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, unless notice of such resolution is signed by not less than one-third of the total number of Members of Parliament and sets out full particulars of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity.

(c) Provided further that notice of such resolution shall not be given unless after due inquiry, held in camera, by a Committee of not less than three persons, the Speaker has been informed in writing by the person who appointed such Committee, that it has been determined by such Committee that the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity is of such a nature that, if proved, will render such Judge against whom a complaint has been made unfit to serve as a Judge, and that a prima facie case of such misbehaviour or incapacity has been established. In the case of a complaint against the Chief Justice, the Committee shall consist of persons who hold or who have held office as a Judge of the highest court of any Commonwealth country, other than Sri Lanka, nominated by the President. In the case of a complaint against any other Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal, the Committee shall consist of persons who hold or have held office as a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice.

4. Every person appointed to be or to act as Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal or a Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he takes and subscribes or makes and subscribes before the President, the oath or the affirmation set out in the ............ Schedule.

5. The age of retirement of Judges of the Supreme Court shall be sixty-five (65) years and of Judges of the Court of Appeal shall be sixty-three (63) years provided that a Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal may by writing under his hand addressed to the President retire or resign at any time before he reaches the age of retirement.

6. (a) The salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeal shall be determined by Parliament and shall be charged to the Consolidated Fund.

(b) The salary payable to, and the pension entitlement of a Judge of the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Court of Appeal shall not be reduced after his appointment.

7. (a) If the Chief Justice or the President of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the President shall appoint, the next senior most Judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal to act in the post of Chief Justice or President of the Court of Appeal, respectively.

(b) If any Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his/her office, by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the President may appoint, on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, another person to act as a Judge of the Supreme Court, or Court of Appeal, as the case may be, during such period.

8. (a) A Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal nominated by the Chief Justice may be required by the President of the Republic to perform or discharge any other appropriate duties or functions under any written law.

(b) No Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall perform any other office (whether paid or not) or accept any place of profit or emolument, except as authorized by the Constitution or by written law or with the written consent of the President.

(c) No person who has held office as a permanent Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal may:

(1) appear, plead, act or practice in any Court, Tribunal or Institution as an Attorney-at-Law at any time; and

(2) for a period of three years after retirement, accept any place of profit or emolument in the public service or any public office whatsoever.

Judges of the High Court

9. (a) There shall be a High Court of Sri Lanka, which shall exercise such jurisdiction and powers as Parliament may by law vest or ordain.

(b) The Judges of the High Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic by warrant under his hand on the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Council and shall be removable by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission established under this Chapter and be subject to its disciplinary control.

(c) The retirement age for High Court Judges shall be sixty-one (61) years.

Judicial Service Commission

10. (a) There shall be a Judicial Service Commission (in this Chapter referred to as the ("Commission") appointed by the President of the Republic which shall consist of the Chief Justice who shall be the Chairman and two other Judges of the Supreme Court recommended by the Chief Justice, one of whom shall have been a Judicial Officer with Original Court experience.

(b) The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be two members.

(c) The Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceeding by the Commission shall, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

(d) A Judge appointed as a member of the Commission shall, unless he/she earlier resigns his/her office or is removed therefrom as hereinafter provided or ceases to be a Judge hold office for a period of five years from the date of his appointment, but shall be eligible for re-appointment.

11. (a) The President shall on the recommendation of the Chief Justice remove from office any member of the Commission appointed by him/her.

(b) The President may grant to any member of the Commission leave from his duties, and may appoint a person qualified to be a member of the Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.

12. A member of the Commission may be paid such salary or allowance as may be determined by Parliament. Any salary or allowance payable to a member shall be charged to the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during his/her term of office. The salary so payable shall be in addition to the salary or other emoluments attached to, and received from his/her substantive appointments.

13. The Judicial Service Commission may make:

(a) rules regarding schemes for recruitment and procedure for the appointment of judicial officers, and scheduled public officers, and

(b) provision for such matters as are necessary or expedient for the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of such Commission.

14. There shall be a Secretary to the Commission who shall be appointed for a period not exceeding three years by the Judicial Service Commission. The Secretary shall be appointed from among senior Judicial Officers within the meaning of paragraph (...)( of Article...

15. (a) The appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of judicial officers, and (notwithstanding, anything to the contrary in Chapter....) of scheduled public officers, is vested in the Commission.

(b) The Judicial Service Commission shall provide for and determine all matters relating to Judicial Officers, including schemes of recruitment, codes of conduct and may give such directions as the Commission deems necessary for the proper and efficient administration of Courts functioning under such judicial officers.

(c) It shall be competent to the Judicial Service Commission by Order published in the Gazette, to delegate its powers under paragraph (1) of this Article in respect of such class or category of Judicial Officers or scheduled public officers as may be specified, to a Committee of not less than three Judges, each of whom shall be a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal, and one of whom shall be nominated by the Chief Justice as Chairman.

(d) Any Judicial Officer or scheduled public officer may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Chairman of the Commission.

(e) The Commission may, by Order published in the Gazette, delegate to the Secretary to the Commission the power to make all transfers, other than transfers involving increase of salary, or to make acting appointments in such cases and subject to such limitations as may be specified in the Order.

(f) The Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission or any Judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal or the High Court authorized by the Chairman of the Commission, shall have full power and authority to inspect any Court of First Instance or the records, registers or other documents maintained in such Court and to hold such inquiry as maybe necessary.

(g) In this Article: "appointment" includes an acting or temporary appointment; "Judicial Officer" does not include a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal; and "scheduled public officer" means the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Fiscal, the Registrar of any Curt of First Instance or any public officer employed in the Registry of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or any Court of First Instance, included in a category specified in the Fifth Schedule or in such other categories as may be specified by Order made by the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice, and approved by Parliament, and published in the Gazette.

16. (a) Every Judge, presiding officer, public officer or other person entrusted by law with judicial powers or functions under this Chapter or with similar functions under any law enacted by Parliament shall exercise and perform such powers and functions without being subject to any direction or other interference or proceeding from any other person except a superior Court, tribunal, institution or other person entitled under law to direct or supervise such Judge, Presiding Officer, Public Officer or such other person in the exercise or performance of such powers or functions.

(b) Every person who, without legal authority, interferes or attempts to interfere with the exercise or performance of the judicial powers or functions of any judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, shall be guilty of an offense punishable by the High Court on conviction after trial without a jury with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to a period of five (5) years or to a fine of Rs.25,000 or to both such imprisonment and fine and may, in addition, be disqualified for a period not exceeding seven years from the date of such conviction from being an elector and from voting at a Referendum or at any election of a Member of Parliament or any Provincial Council or Local Authority or from holding any public office and from being employed as a public officer.

17. No suit or proceedings shall lie against any member of the Commission for any act which in good faith is done or is purported to be done by him in the performance of his/her duties or discharge of his/her functions under the Commission.

8.5 The Constitutional Council

8.5.1 The creation of the Constitutional Council entails the inclusion of the following provisions in the proposed Constitution.

1. There shall be a Constitutional Council which shall consist of the following members:

(a) The Speaker

(b) The Prime Minister

(c) The Leader of the Opposition

(d) A Chief Minister nominated by the Chief Ministers of the Provinces

(e) Five Members of Parliament nominated by the Committee of Selection of Parliament

(f) Seven members out of whom two members shall be retired Judges of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal and five members shall be persons who have rendered distinguished public service or are persons of eminence in professional, commercial, industrial or agricultural life and who do not hold any political office, who shall hold office for three years. The seven members shall be nominated jointly by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition within one month of any vacancy arising and in the absence of such nomination within such period, the Speaker shall nominate such member or members in consultation with the leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament.

2. The Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Constitutional Council and shall preside at its meetings. In the absence of the Speaker the Prime Minister and in his absence the Leader of the Opposition shall preside.

3. (a) A person shall not be appointed as a member of any of the Commissions and public bodies specified in the schedule to this Article or as a member of such other public body as Parliament may determine by law, except on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.

(b) It shall be the duty of the Constitutional Council to recommend to the President or the appropriate appointing authority, persons for appointment as members of the Commissions or public bodies referred to in the schedule to this Article or in such law, whenever the occasion for such appointment arises, and such Recommendations shall reflect, as far as practicable and appropriate, the different ethnic and interest groups.

SCHEDULE

(i) The National Elections Commission

(ii) The National Public Service Commission

(iii) The National Police Commission

(iv) Bribery and Corruption Commission

(v) The Delimitation Commission

(vi) Official Languages Commission

(vii) University Grants Commission

(viii) The Finance Commission

(ix) National Education Commission

4. A person shall not be appointed to any of the offices specified in the schedule to this Article or to such other office or as a member of such other public body, as Parliament may determine by law, except with the approval of the Constitutional Council.

5. It shall be the duty of the President or the appropriate appointing authority to submit for the prior approval of the Constitutional Council the names of persons for appointment to any of the offices or public bodies referred to in the Schedule to this Article, whenever the occasion for such appointment arises.

SCHEDULE

(i) The Chief Justice

(ii) The Attorney-General

(iii) The Heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the Police Force

(iv) The Ombudsman

(v) The Auditor-General

(vi) Secretaries to the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and of the other Ministries (other than acting appointments to these posts of Secretaries for a period not exceeding six (6) weeks).

6. (a) The Constitutional Council should endeavour to make every recommendation or approval, as the case may be, by consensus. In the absence of consensus, the views of the majority of the members shall prevail. In the event of an equality of votes the member presiding shall have a casting vote.

(b) The quorum for any meeting of the Constitutional Council shall be ten (10).

7. There shall be a Secretary to the Constitutional Council appointed by the Council who shall also perform and discharge such duties and functions as may be prescribed by this Constitution or by law.

Note: It is proposed to formulate a constitutional requirement that in respect of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, the National Elections Commission, the National Public Service Commission, the National Police Service Commission, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption and such other independent bodies, the Secretary of the Constitutional Council shall be the relevant Secretary who shall also be the Chief Accounting Officer and who shall be responsible for other administrative arrangements pertaining to such bodies. The Secretary shall discharge these functions under the supervision of the Constitutional Council.

8. The Constitutional Council shall also perform and discharge such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by the Constitution or by law.

Annex I

Consultation on Free and Fair Elections

Plenary Committee

1. Mr. Karu Jayasuriya

Mayor, Colombo Municipal Council

6/1, Wijerama Mawatha

Colombo-7

 

2. Mr. Wimal Fernando

Movement for the Defense of Democratic Rights

1149, Kotte Road

Rajagiriya

 

3. Father Oswald Firth

Centre for Society and Religion

281, Deans Road

Colombo-10

 

4. Mr. A. L. M. Hashim, P.C.

Ambanpitiya Estate

Galigamuwa

 

5. Mrs. Janakie Gunawardena

Association of Professional and Business Women

55, Buthgamuwa Road

Rajagiriya

 

6. Mr. K. Vigneswaran

EPDP

 

7. Mr. K. Rajapuwaneswaran

34, Vivekananda Hill

Colombo-13

 

8. Air Vice Marshall Harry Gunatilleke

E/2/6 Elvitigala Flats

Colombo-8

 

9. Dr. V. K. Valsan

36, Barnes Place

Colombo-7

 

 

Annex II

 

 

Consultation on Free and Fair Elections

Drafting Committee

 

 

1. Mr. K. H. J. Wijayadasa

20/20, Randoli Lane

Colombo-5

 

2. Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

17, De Fonseka Place

Colombo-5

 

3. Mr. D. M. Swaminathan

125, Rosmead Place

Colombo-7

 

4. Mrs. Monica Ruwanpathirane

Participatory Institute for Development Alternatives

32, Gothami Lane

Colombo-8

 

5. Mr. D. S. S. Mayadunne

ICES, 2, Kynsey Terrace

Colombo-8

 

6. Mr. A. L. M. Thangavel

12/7, Bailey Road

Nawalapitiya

 

7. Mr. W. D. Ailapperuma

184/F, Kanatta Road

Thalapathpitiya

Nugegoda

 

8. Mr. Austin Fernando

407/18A, Samagi Mawatha

Udahamulla

Nugegoda

 

9. Mr. Melvin Wijesekera

5, 4th Lane

Kaudana Broadway

Dehiwela

 

10. Mr. Shibly Aziz, P.C.

19/1, Collingwood Place

Colombo-6

 

11. Mr. Ana Seneviratne

28, First Lane

Epitamulla Road

Pita Kotte

 

12. Mr. Elmore Perera

Organization of Professional Associations

144, Sri Vipulasena Mawatha

Colombo-10

 

13. Mrs. Swarna Obeysekera

Sri Lanka Institute of Interior Designers

7, Thuduwa

Madapatha

Piliyandala

 

14. Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo

Marga institute

93/10, Dutugemunu Street

Colombo-6