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Heated arguments over question time allocations in Parliament

24 September 2020 10:48 pm - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Heated arguments erupted in the House today over the Speakers ruling to restrict the number of questions which could be raised by leaders of recognised political parties in Parliament under 27/2.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane informed Parliament that only one of the leaders of recognised political parties including the opposition leader would be allowed to raise any question relating to any matter of public interest.

National Peoples’ Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who raised objections to the ruling, said it was unreasonable and partial for the Speaker to make such a ruling in violation of the rights of party leaders vested under Standing Orders.

“The Speaker made the ruling partially without any discussion with the party leaders. I strongly regret the ruling. It a right given by the SO for the party leaders to make a special statement in Parliament. It is unreasonable to take away our rights,” he said.

He said the Speaker was partial towards the government and requested him to reconsider his decision and to discuss the matter at the party leaders meeting before coming to a conclusion.

Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardane, who joined the cross talk, said the matter could be discussed at the party leaders meeting and added that they as the opposition did not get the opportunity to raise questions during previous Parliament.

“When time was allocated for party leaders during the previous parliament, all party leaders did not get the opportunity. Only alternative dates were allocated for other political parties,” he said.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said Standing Orders had not made any restrictions for time allocation for questions which could be raised in parliament and said the Speaker had been provided with wrong instructions.

“You have been given wrong instructions. Please don’t abolish rights given by the Standing Orders,” he said.

Former Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said if restrictions were imposed to save time, Parliament could be convened an hour earlier.

Speaker said the matter could be discussed at the Party leaders meeting today. By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera

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  • Sokrates Friday, 25 September 2020 08:45 AM

    Soon there will be no question time at all in parliament, because the Rajapaksa brothers will no longer allow their decisions to be questioned or because there will no longer be a parliament.

    J. Jayawardana Friday, 25 September 2020 09:30 AM

    We don't need question time after 20th Amendment! Someone from Viyathmaga will answer questions outside the Parliament on private TV channels.

    FF Friday, 25 September 2020 09:38 AM

    SPEAKER IS FAVORING THE GOVT. HE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THE JOB

    Ranjith Friday, 25 September 2020 09:46 AM

    Politicians in srilanka get into politics to solve their personal problems and gain something out of politics the present set is also the same from top to bottom


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