FORWARDED APPEAL (Sri Lanka): Unconstitutional appointments to the Human Rights Commission 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you a statement issued by Transparency International Sri Lanka regarding the unconstitutional appointment of persons to the Human Rights Commission.

Urgent Appeals Prorgramme
Asian Human Rights Commission

19TH May 2006
Press Release

Shameless Extra Constitutional Appointments Continue – President Appoints HRC!

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) notes with regret that the President has continued to bypass the constitutional precondition for the Constitutional Council to be in office in order for independent commissions to be appointed in terms of the 17th Amendment, as evidenced by the recent appointments to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The appointments to the NHRC have been made unconstitutionally, ignoring mounting national and international opinion against such appointments.

Among those who were appointed were retired judges, who are well aware that they are appointed to these positions unconstitutionally but have shown no courage in declining such positions. Their acceptance is an indication of their lack of commitment to rule of law.

TISL however commends Dr. Deepika Udagama and Mr. N. Selvakumaran who have recently declined to accept extra constitutional appointments, thus not compromising their own integrity.

While taking a serious stand, TISL has no doubt that these new appointments have been made for a collateral purpose of satisfying the international community that Sri Lanka has a Human Rights Commission and not to achive any legitimate objectives. These appointments are also contrary to the basic international principles governing independent human rights commissions including the United Nations’ Paris Principles which advocate for the lawfully created independent national human rights commissions, with integrity.  It is fair to assume that those who have accepted such unconstitutional appointments can not function with any degree of integrity nor independence.

We call upon the President to withdraw these appointments and/or the appointees to resign from these positions forthwith.


JC Weliamuna
Executive Director, TISL

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Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-014-2006
Countries : Sri Lanka,