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SJB calls for PCR tests for all MPs prior to 20A debate

SAJITH’S PICK APPOINTED – Former Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara was unanimously chosen to be the General Secretary of the United National Front

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s main opposition the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane today to conduct PCR tests on all MPs prior to this week’s sittings.

The party called for the tests ahead of a parliamentary debate on the draft bill of the 20th amendment to the constitution scheduled for October 21 and 22.

SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara accused the government of breaking its own, now gazetted, quarantine regulations in its hurry to pass the proposed amendment.

Though the new regulations dictate that a minimum of one metre-distance must be maintained been individuals, Bandara told reporters today, there is only about half a metre between the seats of two MPs in the house.

“The government is trying to enact dictatorial legislation by breaking the law, in the very same place where laws are made,”  he said.

If the speaker or the government fails to conduct PCR tests in parliament, the MP warned, there would be no choice but to close the parliament for months even if a single MP tests positive for COVID-19, as many lawmakers associate with a lot of people in their respective electoral seats. (Colombo/Oct19/2020)

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