Despite objections from Muslim MPs, the Speaker decided yesterday that pork may be offered, to MPs, in the Parliament canteen, revoking a previous ban on it, informed sources said.
Earlier Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had, at the request of Muslim MPs, decided not to offer pork at the parliamentary canteen. However some MPs, including Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, had objected to the decision. The Speaker had revoked the decision yesterday. He had reportedly said at the House Committee meeting that one should not place restrictions on the choices of food available to other people.
He had said that if any MP wanted to eat pork, he or she should inform the canteen authorities in advance. MPs have long had the right to order beef and mutton in the canteen.
At yesterday’s meeting, MP Azwer voiced his objections to this decision on the grounds that Islam did not permit the consumption of pork. This led to a heated argument between him and Mr. Amaratunga.
The Speaker also revoked the price increase of meals served at the canteen to the guests of MPs. The latest decision is to charge Rs. 250 per meal from an MP who has no more than 12 guests. If an MP has more than 12 guests for a meal, Rs.600 will be charged from him on account of each guest. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)