Heated arguments erupted in the House when the Opposition raised objections to the convening of Parliament saying it violated the Gazette notice on COVID-19 regulations.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa pointed out that convening Parliament violated the COVID-19 regulation that calls for the maintaining of the 1-metre physical distancing and the wearing of face masks.
He asked whether there was one law for MPs and another for the people and requested the Speaker to implement the regulations as gazetted.
“Even you are not wearing a face mask, hounable Speaker,” he said adding that Parliament should be convened only after re-arranging the seats so as to maintain the required physical distancing.
Health Minister Pavithra Vanniarachchi said Parliament was not a public place according to the interpretation of a public place as given in the gazette and said only outdoor places are considered as public places.
House Leader Dinesh Gunawardane said it was agreed by the party leaders at the business committee meeting to convene Parliament and the matters to be taken up in the House this week were approved at the meeting.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)