Joint opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane said yesterday that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had assured them that the adjournment debate on the attack on university students and the GMOA strike would be held today whereas it was cancelled due to the early adjournment of the House.
The adjournment debate which was requested by Mr. Gunawardane yesterday morning was to be held for two hours beginning at 4.30 pm. However, the debate on the excise ordinance which began in the morning only ended at 4.00 pm and Ananda Kumarasiri, who was in the chair at the time, requested MP Gunawardane to move the adjournment motion but he was not present at the time. Parliament was adjourned thereafter.
Convening a press conference last evening inside the Parliament complex, Mr. Gunawadane said the government had deliberately acted to avoid taking part in the debate by its members not speaking during the debate held in the morning on the excise ordinance leading to an early adjournment of the House.
He said the government was attempting to avoid taking the blame for the brutal attack on university students and to suppress the opinion of the opposition on the SAITM issue. He said they would not be deterred by this but come ready to point out the government’s role in these two incidents when Parliament meets today (23).
He said a serious situation had arisen in the country due to the strike launched by the GMOA to protest against Wednesday's brutal attack on university students.
He said a large number of university students, who had gone to the health ministry on its public day to brief the authorities on the issues facing medical education in the country, were baton charged, beaten by the police and had to be hospitalised as a result.
He said it should be considered a national issue where more than 8000 medical students had been inconvenienced due to the issue and added that government could not try to shirk their responsibilities. (By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)