Speaker urged to halt interested parties undermining independent commissions


By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) yesterday (16) requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to prevent certain persons from using state resources to undermine independent commissions.

CHR Executive Director Rajith Tennakoon said that the engineers, clerks, office assistants and manpower workers of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had put up posters against the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) during office hours, using CEB vehicles on May 15.

"There is a massive campaign against the PUCSL, appointed with the concurrence of the Constitutional Council, which you head. Ministers Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Ajith P Perera and the Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Suren Batagoda are also trying to get rid of the Director General of the PUCSL," Tennakoon said.

A member of the PUCSL can only be removed by Parliament. CEB officials’ efforts to undermine the authority of the PUCSL, which has been appointed to regulate the energy sector, will set a bad precedent," he said.

"This might happen to any other commission soon. What will happen if policemen start distributing leaflets against the National Police Commission (NPC), during service hours and using official vehicles? Soon errant politicians will launch a poster campaign against the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. The Speaker must take immediate steps to halt such practices."

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