- Speaker rules allowing only one question under 27/2
By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
Heated arguments erupted in the House yesterday 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 is 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.