Parliamentary proceedings came to an abrupt end at 2.35pm today because some UNP MPs listed to speak during the committee stage debate on the Petroleum Ministry were absent.
Earlier, it had been agreed that 160 minutes were to be allocated for the opposition speakers and 135 minutes to the government members.
On behalf of the opposition, MPs Sujeewa Senasinghe and Dayasiri Jayasekara used 60 minutes during their speeches. After that, presiding member A.H.M.Azwer called for UNP MPs Ravi Karunananayake and Ajith P.Perera to speak, but both of them were absent by the time.
Later, Mr. Azwer asked the government to wind up the debate since there were no opposition MPs to participate in the debate.
Afterwards Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha made some remarks and concluded the debate asking the presiding member to take up the vote.
“We were ready to reply the opposition in all the allegations made against us. Yet, they were not present to speak. It is unfortunate,” Mr. Premajayantha said.
Subsequently, Mr. Azwer adjourned the House, and asked the opposition to move the adjournment motion that was scheduled for the day. Mr. Karunanayake who was to move it was absent, and the sittings came to an end accordingly.
If not, the debate was to go on till 6.00pm. In addition, an extra time of 30 minutes had been allocated for the debate on the adjournment motion.
(Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)