None of the opposition members listed to raise oral questions were present in Parliament today and this became a salient feature during the sessions with Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardene calling it a world record.
“Opposition members have set up a world record by not being present in Parliament to raise oral questions. This has happened for the first time in the history of this House,” Mr. Gunawardene said.
However, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, who responded, said on several occasions opposition members who expected to raise oral questions and ministers who are supposed to answer them had made it a habit to keep away during question time.'
“Let’s try and change this situation,” he said adding that most of the ministers listed to answer oral questions were also absent today.
Opposition Leader of Ranil Wickremesinghe said many UNP MPs were not present in Parliament because as they had accompanied their colleagues summoned to appear in Court.
“Four UNP MPs have been summoned to courts with regard to the recent incident at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority premises. Their parliamentary privileges have been violated,” he said.
UNP MP for Hambantota District Sajith Premadasa who came late was allowed to raise his oral question during the second round of the oral question session. (Yohan Perera)
Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana