The main opposition expressed its dismay in Parliament yesterday after the government declined to answer a question regarding the killing of a British national on Christmas eve in 2011 in Tangalle, and causing grievous injuries to his Russian girlfriend.
UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara directed two questions asking for details on the incident and the follow up action by the government to prosecute the suspects. In his question, he asked whether the government was aware of any such incident, and if so, the identity of the persons victimized in the crime. Also, he asked for the reasons for the incident.
Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane said he could not answer the question on behalf of the government because it was an issue lying before court at the moment. The Chief Whip argued that it would be impossible under the sub judice to answer that question.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe countered Mr. Gunawardane, saying the sub judice rule would not bar the government from giving details required by MP Jayasekara. He said only the reasons that led to the crime could not be revealed, in his view, under the sub judice law.
“All other details can be provided without any programme. First, Mr. Jayasekara asked whether any such incident happened. The government can just say yes or no in answer,” he said.
The Chief Whip responded saying that it would be advisable for the UNP MP to reword the question omitting the section that ran counter to the sub judice law in this instance.
“Then only, I can answer it. I know your intention of asking this question. Whatever intention you might have, we have to stick to the parliamentary traditions,” he said.
UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the British High Commission in Colombo had raised concerns about the delay in the litigation process on this crime. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)