Parliament heats up over statement made on Attorney General appointment

Parliament heats up over statement made on Attorney General appointment

Parliament heats up over statement made on Attorney General appointment

Written by Tharushan Fernando

29 Jan, 2016 | 9:02 pm

A debate arose in Parliament on Friday after UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena made a statement over the appointment of the Attorney General.

UPFA MP, Dinesh Gunawardena stated in parliament that for three weeks, the most senior officer in the Attorney General’s Department has been serving at the acting Attorney General. However, rather than following procedure to give the position, there is an attempt to provide that position to someone else.

” We are aware that three names are being considered, ” he charged

In reply to the statement by MP Gunawardane, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya noted that the president is yet to make recommendations and the names will be considered, following the president’s recommendations.

Prime Minister  Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the president is vested with the power to make a recommendation and the approval lies with the Executive Council. But the president has not made any recommendation and that is why there was a delay.

He  added that as per tradition, when appointing an Attorney General, you can make a selection from the AG’s Department, a qualified private lawyer or even from the Supreme Court , and the Bar Association struggled to ensure the Judiciary was independent.

“Now you can speak of tradition but when tradition was followed, were you against the discussions with the Bar Association,” he questioned. He added that the government cast aside the Bar Association and were not in good terms with them, but the only group that stood firm was the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti noted that an audit commission was established,therefore the power of appointment and promotions that was with the Public Administration Commission, and the powers of the Auditor General, were vested with that commission. However, there is no act, that will enforce it legally.

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