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Opposition initiates NCM against Speaker over Online Safety Bill

27 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      


A group of opposition MPs initiated the process of collecting signatures for a no-confidence motion against Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday, citing his handling of the Online Safety Bill.

According to sources, the decision to pursue the motion was made during a meeting at the headquarters of the opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party yesterday. Sources also claimed that all opposition parties support the initiative.The meeting, attended by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Professor G. L. Peiris, and several other prominent figures from various opposition parties, centred around the alleged violation of Parliamentary procedures by the Speaker.

SJB MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, confirming the meeting and the no-confidence motion at a press briefing, accused the Speaker of neglecting or ignoring Supreme Court instructions regarding amendments to the Online Safety Bill. Specifically, opposition lawmakers allege disregard for adjustments to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33(6), 34(1), 35(1), 21, 22, and 31 of the bill.

Jayamaha stated that the no-confidence motion would be formally submitted “within the coming days.”
The opposition also raises questions about the bill’s legality in light of the alleged non-compliance with Supreme Court recommendations.