President’s Secretary Responds to BASL on Attorney General Appointment


President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake has addressed the Bar Association of Sri Lanka’s (BASL) letter regarding the appointment of a new Attorney General following the retirement of Mr. Sanjay Rajaratnam, PC.

In his response, Mr. Ekanayake highlighted that the President, under Article 41C of the Constitution, is empowered to appoint the Attorney General with the Constitutional Council's approval. He clarified that there is no constitutional requirement to appoint the senior-most officer from the Attorney General’s Department, noting that past appointments, such as those of Sarath N. Silva, PC, and Mohan Peiris, PC, have often come from outside the department's senior ranks.

Mr. Ekanayake also referenced the 2016 appointment of Mr. Jayantha Jayasuriya, PC, by President Maithripala Sirisena, which was approved by the Constitutional Council despite multiple candidates being recommended.

The Secretary advised the BASL against promoting a single candidate, urging a broad consideration of all potential candidates to ensure the appointee garners the confidence of the President and the Cabinet.

The BASL, in its earlier letter signed by Secretary Chathura A. Galhena, had urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe to appoint the senior-most officer in the Attorney General’s Department, highlighting the importance of seniority, continuity, and respect for the department's hierarchy in upholding the rule of law and ensuring proper administration of justice.