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Viggy’s controversial remarks: Speaker upholds MPs right to hold opinions

Veteran Parliamentarian Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena

ECONOMYNEXT- Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has ended the spat over whether C.V. Vigneshwaran’s statement that Tamil was the first indigenous language to be spoken on our island should not be expunged from the Hansard.

Abeywardene, a veteran Parliamentarian, asserted that said that every member has the right to state their opinions in the parliament.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is the opinion of the government or the opinion of the opposition everyone has the right to state their opinions,” he said.

MPs offered varying opinions on the issue when Opposition MP Manusha Nanayakkara raised a point of order asking the Chair as to why Vigneshwaran’s statement was not expunged from the Hansard as it was against the Oath taken by Parliamentarians.

However, the Opposition MP Rauff Hakeem said parliament privileges act ensures that the freedom of speech in parliament is there for each member and if there is a violation of law in the country then the matter can be taken as a complaint to the police station where it can be pursued by members rather than impinging on the privileges of the House. (Colombo/Aug27/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe