Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told the party leaders meeting that he stood by his stance on recognising former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader in Parliament.
The party leaders met the Speaker today to discuss the agenda for the next week. Party leaders such as Mano Ganesan and Rauff Hakeem disputed Mr. Rajapaksa's eligibility hold the post.
The Speaker had informed party leaders that anyone who wished, could take up the matter with the judiciary and confirmed that Mr. Rajapaksa could use the parliamentary facilities assigned to him as the Opposition Leader. Sources said Mr. Hakeem and Mr. Ganesan had then told the Speaker that the matter should be resolved by him as he had the power to do so.
In December last year the Speaker announced that he would recognise former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Leader of Opposition and MP Mahinda Amaraweera as the Chief Opposition Whip.
Mr. Ganesan and Mr. Hakeem said there was an issue with Mr. Rajapaksa's status as a member of parliament because he had obtained the membership of a party which was not represented in Parliament and had requested the Speaker to appoint a Select Committee to look into the matter. (Yohan Perera)