Absence of subject minister Patali Champika causes flurry in Parliament

Absence of subject minister Patali Champika causes flurry in Parliament

Written by Bella Dalima

19 Nov, 2014 | 9:32 pm

The Expenditure Heads of the Ministry of Technology and Research were taken up for debate in Parliament on Wednesday with Patali Champika Ranawaka, who was the subject Minister, being absent.

Our reporter notes that while Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera also did not attend Parliament, the seat allocated to him in government remained empty.

Views were expressed in Parliament at length on Wednesday regarding the JHU’s decision to abandon all positions held in the UPFA government.

Chief Opposition Whip, MP John Amaratunga :

[quote]For the first time in the history of Parliament since 1948, we are going to adopt the expenditure heads of a ministry where there is no subject minister. The Science and Technology Minister is not here. He has left the government. There isn’t even a Deputy Minister. I don’t understand how the government is planning on moving forward. How can we adopt this?[/quote]

Chief Government Whip, Min. Dinesh Gunawardena :

[quote]As per the constitution, if there is no minister or the minister resigns, then the President automatically takes over that ministry. Either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or myself, will respond to the relevant questions. Don’t worry.[/quote]

Chief Opposition Whip, MP John Amaratunga :

[quote]It has never happened in the history of the country. Websites had reported that another one or two members will crossover to this side. I do not know if it’s true or not.[/quote]

Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne :

[quote]Monks cannot be directly involved in politics if they are to attain enlightenment. Monks do not have the right to engage in politics without limitations. When they think of winning kingships, they are not thinking of the religion they are thinking of the crown.[/quote]




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