Four out of the five members of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) say they have no part in the decision taken to summon public security minister Tiran Alles before the commission on March 13.
His summoning is to obtain an explanation into the crackdown on university students on two recent days, the HRCSL said in a statement.
Apart from its chairperson Rohini Marasinghe, other members Ven. Kalupahana Piyaratana Thera, Dr. Nimal Karunasiri, Dr. Vijitha Nanayakkara and Anushiya Shammuganathan have told the media that the decision was not taken by them.
All are appointees of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
A senior HRCSL official said the investigating officer has the powers to summon anyone for an investigation, without seeking the consent of the remaining members, including the chairperson.
However, a former member of the HRCSL Pratibha Mahanamahewa has found fault with the order for the minister’s appearance before the commission.
The HRCSL should order a report from the relevant state agency and study it first, in this case the secretary to the subject ministry, he said.
The commission’s jurisdiction relates to creating a culture of respect for human rights, and its recommendations cannot be treated as orders like by a court, Mahanamahewa said.
Calling for sensitivity with regard to issues of public and national security, he said that or else, even the president could be summoned to the HRCSL over matters of declaration of war and peace.
Wrong to summon Tiran to HRCSL – Mahanamahewa