The ruling party and the opposition congratulated Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa leading the way.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa expressed his best wishes to the new Speaker on behalf of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government.
“You have become the third citizen of this country after completing your studies at Thelijjawala Madya Maha Vidyalaya and at the University of Colombo. I am proud of you. As a senior Member of Parliament you have a sound knowledge on parliamentary tradition and local government. I wish that you will have all the strength to make independent and impartial decisions pertaining to Parliament,” the Prime Minister told the Speaker.
Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa said the new Speaker could handle the new Parliament effectively considering his past track record. “Mr. Abeywardene is a man who resigned from all his positions in the UNP government in keeping with his conscience when the Indo-Lanka agreement was signed in 1987. We hope that the new Speaker with such good qualities will convert this Parliament into a vibrant one. We also hope that there would not be any instance in this Parliament where decisions will not be made according to the sounds or noise,” Mr. Weerawansa said.
Former President and Polonnaruwa district SLPP MP Maithripala Sirisena said it is important that a person like Mr. Abeywardene is appointed Speaker since the Legislature should function effectively as the institution which has control over finances and also in a situation where Parliament is considered as an institution where one could learn more than from a university.
Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said the SJB believes that the new speaker will be meticulous, methodical, professional and unbiased in handling parliamentary affairs and uphold great principle of democracy.
“This institution represent the voice of the voiceless and we hope that you will abide by the great principle proclaimed by former US President Abraham Lincoln that you will act with malice towards none and charity towards all,” he said.
MP C. V. Vigneswaran who greeted the new speaker in Tamil and shifted to English said he will be sure Mr. Abeywardene will bring his expertise’s to Parliament.
“We have a powerful government today similar to that of late J. R. Jayewardene of 1977 during which the 1983 programme took place. Certainly this government could follow UNP the Government in 1977 and end up with one single seat in Parliament. However, I’m sure this government would not follow that path,” Mr. Vigneswaran said.
JJB MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said his party trusts that the new Speaker will support all MPs to play the part they are expected to play. (Yohan Perera)