Written by Nathasha De Alwis
27 Jun, 2019 | 9:51 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The extension of the emergency regulations by a month was passed without a vote in parliament today (June 27). The opposition raised concerns over the notable absence of certain responsible members of government during the debate.
Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Amaraweera noted that the usual tradition is that as the president is the Minister of Defence, the state minister would present this proposal, if not the proposal for the debate is presented by the leader of the house or at least an organizer of the government.
He added that the usual tradition is that at least a responsible Cabinet minister would present this proposal and this is in contravention of that. Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella noted that he brought the motion and the state Minister should be here.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya agreeing with MP Amaraweera said that as per proper procedure the Minister of Defence should be here.
Leader of the JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake noted that the Minister of Defence or the deputy minister of defence do not respond to any of their queries. When questioned if the leader of the house approves the situation, he noted that he does not approve it.
MP Dissanayake said that not clarifying any of these matters to parliament shows just how responsible the government is on matters of national security. He noted that the relevant ministers should be present.
While MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake was speaking in parliament, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijeyawardena entered the chambers. Speaking to the State Minister he reminded him that this is his debate as it is on the security of the people in the country. He noted that State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene is bound to at least provide answers to these questions and at least present a report to parliament on the current security situation in the country.
He noted that he saw State Minister Wijeywardena going to Minuwangoda with an entourage of motorbikes and then in Townhall. MP Dissanayake said that he is not sure if that allegation was levelled against the state minister. MP Dissanayake added that security is only a show for State Minister Wijeyawardena.
However, State Minister responded stating that he does not know about it. When pointed out that he should know about things as he is the State Minister of Defence, he noted that the IGP has said that he will look into the CCTV footage and tell him about it. However, he still hasn’t heard from him.
The state minister went onto note that what happened in Minuwangoda was not something he wanted. He noted that when he visited Minuwangoda, everyone gathered in one place to welcome him. He said he didn’t request for something like that and that he is not someone who prefers exhibitions like that.
Questions were once again raised about the absence of the representatives of the government in the evening.
UPFA MP Nimal Lanza pointed out that there is absolutely no one from the government when discussing national security. Adding to this MP Chandima Weerakkody said even after the quorum bell was rung, only 3 MPs from the government were available.
MP Nimal Lanza went onto note that the government is now working to win the upcoming elections.
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