Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in a letter to the President Maithripala Sirisena informed today that he had received a request asking that the privileges of Ranil Wickremesinghe be protected until the person with the confidence of a majority in Parliament is established as Prime Minister.
The UNP in a letter to Speaker requested yesterday to protect the Privileges of Ranil Wickremesinghe under the Article 42 (4) of the Constitution.The letter, signed by the UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim and General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, said that Ranil Wickremesinghe still held the confidence of majority of Parliament.
The letter to the President said:
“I consider it my foremost duty to protect the rights and privileges of all Members of Parliament, especially in the context of the serious political — constitutional crisis which has arisen in the country. I have received a request to protect the rights and privileges of Ranil Wickremesinghe until any other person emerged from within Parliament as having secured the confidence of Parliament.”
“I consider the said request to be a democratic and fair request. I request you to consider the said request, as the leader of the Government, who has obtained a mandate to secure democracy and Good Governance.”
“This request is especially important in the context where various persons are reported to have issued threats via the media. You would also appreciate that the forcible takeovers, which have been reported at State Media institutions, has been seen as transcending a mere internal breakdown of law and order, and would have serious international implications. Several countries have already issued travel advisories to their citizens.
“In this context continuing the prorogation of Parliament until 16 November will have serious and undesirable consequences for our country, and I kindly request you to reconsider same.
“I consider it duty to draw your attention to the convention that a prorogation should be done in consultation with the Speaker,” the letter said.