On 3 March 2019, Silumina reported that a journalist told MP Harshana Rajakaruna that 13 MPs did not speak a single word in parliament in 2018 and asked him for an explanation.
In response, MP Rajakaruna stated, “As a whole, 95% of MPs have spoken [in parliament in 2018]. It is only 5% who haven’t spoken.”
In his response, the MP restates the journalist’s claim, using percentages rather than number. (However, as 13 out of 225 is equal to 5.78%, the minister has made a slight rounding off error in stating 5% instead of 6%.) Therefore, we fact checked the accuracy of the journalist’s claim, which was reframed by the MP in his response.
According to Manthri.lk*, an online platform that uses official Hansards to track the performance of Sri Lankan MPs in parliament, 13 of 225 MPs did not contribute at all in parliament in 2018. Exhibit 1 shows the names and parties of each of these 13 MPs.
Therefore, we classify the claim in the question and in the MP’s response as TRUE.
*Disclosure: Manthri.lk is a platform run by a separate dedicated team at Verité Research.
FactCheck is a platform run by Verité Research.
For more fact checks, visit our newly launched website at www.factcheck.lk.