Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has denied various allegations on the actions he had taken with regard to the Parliamentary seat of MP Geetha Kumarasinghe and assured that he was committed to the safeguarding the rights of the MPs.
Following is a statement issued by his office:
“It has come to our attention that certain parties have made statements targeting the Speaker with regard to the court ruling on Ms. Kumarasinghe’s seat.
When a seat in Parliament falls vacant due to some reason, informing that to the Elections Commission immediately in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law, is a task assigned to the Secretary General of Parliament.
The ruling regarding Ms. Geetha Kumarasinghe’s seat in Parliament was conveyed to Speaker in the afternoon of the 3rd of May 2017.
The said court ruling was referred to the Secretary General of Parliament by the Speaker as per the procedure. Thereafter, subsequent to consulting the Attorney General as well about the measures to be taken by the Secretary General of Parliament, it was referred to the Elections Commission in the afternoon of the May 8, 2017 for further action.
The relevant ruling of the Court of Appeal had not been subjected to any reconsideration or stay by any superior court up to that point. However, we wish to point out that the relevant matter was informed to the Elections Commission by Parliament after a lapse of three working days, while similar rulings had been conveyed to the Commissioner of Elections after a lapse of one working day in certain earlier occasions.
Accordingly, there is no undue urgency or delay was involved in conveying the relevant ruling to the Elections Commission and that the ordinary procedure has been followed in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law.
Thus, any claim by any party that informing the Elections Commission about the ruling of the Court of Appeal regarding Ms . Kumarasinghe’s Parliamentary seat was faulty and that Speaker has acted on the agenda of the Government, is a total distortion of facts or one made out of ignorance.
The Speaker will be committed in future as well to protect the rights of Parliamentarians to the best of his ability within the limitations applicable to such office,” the media release said.