ECONOMYNEXT – A committee comprising senior government and opposition MPs will be appointed to investigate an “ugly incident” in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary premises last weekend, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said, as the main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) boycotted sittings on Monday (06).
“Some ugly incidents had taken place in the parliament premises on Friday and Saturday. As MPs and responsible citizens, it’s important that you help uphold the dignity of the House. Respecting standing orders and following House regulations are things that need our special attention,” the Speaker told lawmakers Monday morning.
The Speaker was referring to a claim by the SJB that some government MPs had attempted to attack SJB MP Manusha Nanayakkara last Friday (03) and Saturday (02), prompting the party to boycott parliamentary sittings until security was guaranteed for the party.
Speaker Abeywardena asked for the corporation of both sides of the isle in the probe.
However, opposition and National People’s Power (NPP) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake speaking in parliament soon after the speaker made his announcement called for a more thorough investigation that isn’t limited to a committee appointed merely to buy time.
Dissanayake said the alleged incident resulted in uncertainty over the safety and security of legislators.
“How can parliament function this way?” he said.
Noting that Sri Lanka’s parliament is equipped with a robust CCTV system, Dissanayake asked that footage be thoroughly examined to determine what exactly had happened.
“We have seen committees appointed in the past. Don’t leave it up to a committee. You must take a straight decision and make a pronouncement on who did what,” he told the speaker. (Colombo/Dec06/2021)