Heated cross talks erupted between Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the government in Parliament today disrupting business scheduled for the day.
Cross talks broke out when Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs alleged that there was a move to arrest their colleague MP Harin Fernando and to remand him despite the government’s denial of it.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said that there is a move to arrest Mr. Fernando on the remarks he made in Parliament on Tuesday. “Mr. Fernando is to be arrested and remanded on the remarks he had made on the Easter Sunday attacks on Tuesday. Such an arrest is a violation of the Parliamentary Privileges Act,” Mr. Premadasa said.
Mr. Premadasa requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana to intervene to prevent the arrest.
Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said Mr. Fernando is to be arrested following a complaint made by a group of government MPs to the Police.
Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando who replied said there is no move to arrest Mr. Fernando. "We will not allow the arrest of any MP for the comments he or she makes in Parliament. Mr. Fernando was questioned on the remarks he made two years ago. MP Fernando said that two years ago he got a prior warning on the attack from his father. However he had told the Presidential Commission that he received a prior warning from his sister. He was questioned by the CID on this contradiction. Also Mr. Fernando was shouting about a mastermind behind the Easter Sunday attacks but he had failed to mention who this mastermind was. This shows whether the MP has a back bone or not,” the Chief Government Whip.
Government MP Pramitha Bandara Tennekoon who spoke about the Easter Sunday issue a bit later said he and a few other MPs lodged a complaint with the Police as SJB MPs including Harin Fernando utter things using parliamentary privileges. “We thought it was important to probe the allegations made by the MPs,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)