By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
Former foreign ministry Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam, who was paid by a US organisation, had been appointed as the Speaker’s advisor to international affairs and that it raised serious suspicions, Joint Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane said yesterday.
He told parliament that there was no post such as advisor to international affairs in the list of parliament staff. He said it was a questionable matter that an official paid by a foreign organisation was working with the Speaker and asked to get the approval of the House and pay him a salary if needed.
Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was a threat to the independence of parliament to employ someone paid by a foreign country for parliamentary matters.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said Mr. Kariyawasam was only supporting him in coordinating international organizations which support in parliament democracy, giving scholarships to MPs and organising foreign workshops for MPs.
“He is not providing information of the country. He is only coordinating international donor organisations. About 70 MPs had gone on foreign tours with foreign aids,’ he said.