Parliament | Daily News


‘President Wickremesinghe implementing all that we fought for’

Ranil Wickremesinghe became the President due to the struggle and as such he should practise the Buddha’s first lesson which is gratitude, said Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella.

Hence, he urged the President to learn from the Buddha’s teachings and stop punishing the children engaged in the struggle.

Kiriella made this comment joining the Adjournment Debate on the President’s Policy Statement.

The Chief Opposition Whip also noted that President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s throne speech was a statement completely reversing everything that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Government did over the past two-and-a-half years.

Kiriella said that the President is now going to do what his party has fought for, for three years. “We are proud of him,” said Kiriella. “Hence, we can’t oppose his speech as he has done what we have been fighting for all this time. We were fighting to bring back the 19th Amendment and the President has agreed to implement it. We wanted the Oversight Committees, but the previous Government refused to allow it, but now the President has approved it. We asked the Government to seek IMF assistance, but while the previous regime said no, President Wickremesinghe is doing just that and he has even re-implemented the fertilizer subsidy. Therefore, the past three years is in vain. That is why the people say this Parliament is a waste of time. But we are grateful to him as he is implementing our policies. So, we are proud of him.”

Kiriella also urged the President to set a time frame for the interim government that he proposes to establish. “If he intends to drag on with the interim government, that won’t be successful. Today, many surveys conducted indicate that 90 percent of the public feel that an election should be held and a new government should be formed.”


‘Results of A\L Examinations 2021will be released before August end’

The results of the GCE Advanced Level Examinations 2021 will be released before the end of August, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said in Parliament yesterday.

Minister Premajayantha said the tense situation that prevailed in the country in the month of July hindered the A\L practical examinations.

The delayed practical exams will be completed by next week, he said.

Earlier, it was stated that the examination results would be out in mid August.

Meanwhile, Minister Premajayantha said that no unfairness shall be done to the development officers above the age of 35 who would be absorbed into the teaching service.

Minister Premajayantha made this observation in reply to a question asked by the Opposition Leader under Standing Order 27\2.

Opposition Leader Premadasa pointed out that it is not fair to some of the development officers if they would be selected to be absorbed into the teaching service based on an age limitation.

Minister Premajayantha pointed out that as per the Teaching Service Act, only those who are less than 35 years can be recruited into the service. Thus, the development officers who are above 35 cannot be absorbed as teachers.

However, Minster Premajayantha said the said development officers will be positioned in the administrative or management divisions in schools.

The Minister in reply to the Opposition Leader’s question on postponing the A\L Examinations said that students are already prepared to sit for the exam and they are ready to take up the challenge. “Those who request to postpone the exams are the ones who are not studying properly. The ones who study properly want the exams to be held,” he said.


‘Why no action taken on MPs who behaved violently in Parliament?’

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha De Silva told Parliament yesterday that while the youth who entered President’s House and sat on the President’s Chair has been arrested, no action was taken against the MPs who behaved violently in the House and damaged the Speaker’s Chair and other equipment in Parliament.

He told Parliament that a committee was appointed by the then Speaker to look into the incident and urged Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to publish the report of that committee.

“No action was taken against the MPs who acted violently in Parliament. We have no idea as to what action was taken against the MPs who spilt water on it and damaged the microphones. Where is the report? We like to have the report,” he said.

De Silva said that if such behaviour is allowed to happen, they would have to face dire consequences in the future. Meanwhile, MP Chaminda Wijesiri alleged that some of the Parliamentarians had been forced to vote in favour of President Ranil Wickremesinghe by threats to their lives.


‘Aragalaya youth misled by some political parties’

Some political parties misled the youths involved in the ‘Aragalaya’, Government MP Shantha Bandara said in Parliament yesterday.

MP Bandara stated so joining the Adjournment Debate on the President’s Policy statement.

MP Bandara pointed out that initially the youth involved in the protests were peaceful. However, when certain political parties infiltrated the protests, the nature of the protesters changed.

“These youths were taught that we have robbed them. They thought that we robbed their money, got rich and built these houses. They were enraged. They felt jealous. They were like that because they were misled. So they came to our houses and burnt them down. If these youths were educated, if they were encouraged to work on their own, and work hard to achieve goals, they would not have turned violent,” MP Bandara said.

MP Bandara also requested the Opposition to join hands with the President for an All-Party Government.

“The Opposition praises the President’s vision. However it is reluctant to actively support the President. This is the same old politics. So I would like to request the Opposition to drop traditional politics and support the President in this trying time,” MP Bandara added.


‘Polls can be held only after country has stabilized’

SLPP Parliamentarian Shehan Semasinghe said yesterday that while former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had also invited all political parties to join in forming a national government to find solutions to the country’s problems, his invitation did not receive a favourable response. However, he said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had made the same call and there is some form of agreement.

“However, no matter what stand the party takes, every Member of Parliament has a responsibility towards his constituency and the country to persuade his party towards what is best for the country, irrespective of what their political views maybe.”

Commenting on various calls for an election to be held, Semasinghe noted that what the people expect is some sort of respite for the issues they are facing at present and not anything else at this point. “Holding an election is not the issue, but we are all aware that the country is not in a stable state to hold such an election. Therefore, an election could only be held once we have all come together and implemented a mechanism that would stabilize the country first. Accordingly, solutions need to be found to uplift the country’s faltering economy and then solutions must be found to resolve the issues people are facing in their daily lives. However, all this must be done within the country’s legal framework,” he noted.

He said that the Government had allowed peaceful protests, but no room will be given to use these protests to break the laws of the country and create a volatile situation. No one will be allowed to violate the country’s Constitution and legal framework, Semasinghe said, adding that if everyone takes it upon themselves to act according to their personal whims, it would be difficult to run this country and it would lead to anarchy.


‘Country is at a crisis due to lack of one proper economic plan’

The House should understand that people took to street protests in fear of their future, Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said in Parliament yesterday.

MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa made this observation joining day one of the Adjournment Debate on President’s Policy Statement.

MP Yapa said, “The country is at a crisis due to the lack of one proper economic plan for the country for many decades. If the economy of a country collapses, the government follows. That is why people protested against the government. The country’s economy was going nowhere. Taxes were removed. There was poor decision-making such as the ban on chemical fertilizers. Farmers and food security of the country was drastically affected. Then the middle class realized that they have no future in this country. This fear led them to the streets. So all the political parties should understand this. If not, things will not get better. I am glad that President has understood this grave situation.”

“The main state institutions such as the Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka Transport Board, Sri Lanka Railways and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have been having political appointments for decades. These people had no idea how these institutions operate. So they incurred losses. The government had to maintain these institutions from its own money. These institutions obtained loans from government banks. As a result, our banking system is on the verge of collapse as well. If we are not changing and restructuring, there is no future for us. We are afraid to even mention the restructuring plans. Even if we get the assistance from the IMF or somewhere else, if we do not follow proper economic management plans, we will never get out of this crisis,” MP Yapa pointed out.


‘President did not pledge to  root out corruption’

The President forgot an important point when presenting the Government’s Policy Statement, said SJB Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahuman.

Joining the debate on the President’s Policy Statement in Parliament yesterday, he said that the President forgot to mention at any point in his speech to make a pledge to stop corruption or even take action against the corruption committed so far. “He perhaps forgot to mention this point as he came to power through the votes of the previous government.”

He noted that society has a serious grudge against politicians and that is understandable.

Rahuman said that it is important to understand why the public are so angry with politicians.

He said that politicians should understand why the youth decided to revolt against the political system. “Some are of the view that all politicians are corrupt, but some feel that there are good and honest politicians on both sides and that they should come together and work for the betterment of the country.”

He said that what the youth are asking for is a system change. The people did not protest only because of fuel queues and gas queues, but the uprising was demanding for a stop to politicians cheating and robbing the public.

Rahuman condemned the action taken to arrest the youth involved in the protest and subdue the uprising through State force, adding that the arrest of these youth cannot be condoned or accepted.


Add new comment