Written by Keshala Dias
08 Mar, 2017 | 10:03 pm
Based on a majority consensus parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardene was suspended from parliamentary activities for a week.A tense situation erupted in parliament today when the decision regarding the request to accept the NFF as an independent party in Parliament, was announced.
Parliament was adjourned on three separate occasions due to the tense situation.
The discussion was as follows:
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “Legally, parliament can accept only political parties that handed in nominations and were elected to parliament. Periodically parliamentarians can act according to their views, however parliament cannot accept groups or parties that such MPs wish to represent”.
Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella: “According to parliamentary traditions, your ruling is the final decision”.
MP Wimal Weerawansa: “Hon. Speaker you did not allow me to speak but you gave the opportunity to the Leader of the House. He spoke on this, what is this method?”
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “There is no need to express your views, I have given my decision”
MP Dinesh Gunawardena: “The Prime Minister said that at the last occasion that he has no objection in honourable Wimal Weerawansa and his group being given the full independence”.
PM Ranil Wickremesinghe: “I have no objection to honourable Wimal Weerawansa and others being treated as independent members of parliament, but they can’t be recognised as a separate group”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “Please act like a member of parliament”.
“MP Dinesh Gunawardena, you are a senior MP, I can understand MP Wimal Weerawansa’s behaviour”.
“I will not change my decision”.
“Let’s suspend parliamentary activities for ten minutes”.
Even after parliament reconvened a tense situation occurred..
MP Wimal Weerawansa: “Give us a chance to express our views on your decision at least when parliament convenes tomorrow”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “I will look into it”.
Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella: “You have given a decision and it is final. This matter is over”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “When you were the chief government whip, when I attempted to speak on the RTI you didn’t even allow me to stand up. I want to remind you of this”.
MP Hector Appuhamy: “Hon. Speaker we are using the people’s money. This individual who came here from jail is wasting our time. I propose that we send him out and continue with the activities of [arliament”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “MP Dinesh Gunawardena, this is my final request. Will you allow me to do my job? Will you sit down, or under Standing Order 74/1, I will have to ask you to leave the Chamber so that we can carry on with our activities”.
“You cannot change my decision by exerting pressure or thuggery, do not waste public funds. I am giving you a final chance, I have a limit to my patience as well”.
“MP Dinesh Gunawardena as you are acting in an indisciplined manner. Under standing order 74/1, I call on you to exit the Chamber for the remainder of this session. Sergeant at Arms please take the necessary steps”.
“Parliament is adjourned for ten minutes”.
When parliament reconvened for the second time, MP Dinesh Gunawardena continued to remain in the Chamber..
MP Dinesh Gunawardena: “MP Dinesh Gunawardena speaks with you on behalf of 51 MPs. We are public representatives who were elected, we cannot allow someone to be sent out”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “Then why does he disrupt activities?”
MP Dinesh Gunawardena: “Usually, how do you deal with such an issue? You call for a party leaders meeting”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “We discussed this yesterday”.
Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella: “Hon. Speaker this matter has concluded, please take the next step”.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “MP Dinesh Gunawardena, I delivered a decision under 74/1. Please respect this decision or the Sergeant at Arms will need to take the necessary action with the assistance of the police. Parliament is temporarily adjourned”.
When parliament convened once again, a motion was brought regarding MP Dinesh Gunawardena..
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya: “Eighty-five votes in favour, twenty-two against, three abstentions, hundred and fourteen did not attend. Thereby, the proposal is passed. Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena is hereby suspended from parliament for one week”.
PM Ranil Wickremesinghe: “We are saddened by the activities that took place today. However, this proves that MP Wimal Weerawansa is not an independent MP and that he remains part of the alliance because everyone worked together. Therefore, do not accept them as independent MPs. Please accept them as members of the alliance. How can he be independent when they work together”?
The parliamentarians representing the Joint Opposition left the parliament following the decision to suspend the parliamentary activities of MP Dinesh Gunawardena for a week.
They expressed the following views to the media..
MP Bandula Gunawardena: “We will decide on the future course of action later. He has been suspended for one week. If this oppression of parliamentarians continues, we will take stern steps”.
MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage: “We were elected by the people, we stand for the rights of the people. This parliament is being managed in an unfair manner, if we can’t do this in parliament, we will take stern action outside parliament”.
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