While refuting claims made by the opposition, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said neither the Prime Minister nor the Opposition Leader had made any written request to postpone Parliamentary sessions during the previous week.
The Speaker said in a statement that he, as the Speaker, had no power to suspend Parliamentary sittings after the party leaders had decided to convene Parliament at the Parliament Business Committee meeting.
He said this responding to a statement issued by the Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella that the request made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to postpone Parliament sessions was not honoured.
The Speaker also said even though several COVID positive employees were reported in various offices in Parliament, it was confirmed at the Business Committee meeting that they had contracted the virus from outside Parliament and there was always a conducive environment within the House to conduct Parliament sittings.
He said there were precedents that Parliament sittings have been conducted without any hindrance even during World War II and also when the Sri Lankan Parliament came under a bomb attack.
The Speaker said he had never convened a press conference but only responded to a question raised by a journalist after an event in Matara saying that Mr. Premadasa was not contracted COVID from parliament. (AS)