Written by Staff Writer
05 Sep, 2019 | 10:34 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Several directives of the Sri Lanka Export Development Act, which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, were taken up for debate in parliament today (September 5).
When questioned if the government will take a vote and reach a final decision regarding this act, Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella noted that they will not ask for a vote and that it will be done on a separate day. Responding to this MP Shehan Semasinghe requested for a division as they must do justice to the Parliament. He questioned; “Is the reason to not ask for a vote is that there are insufficient members in the government’s end?”
MP Semasinghe noted that if a vote is not being called in this regard, the act should be withdrawn. However, Sriyani Wijewickrama noted that as the debate has not concluded, it will be continued on another day along with the vote. Minister Kiriella said that they will not withdraw that and added that as per the standing orders, they have the right to either call for a vote or postpone it. Therefore he requested, it to be postponed.
Amidst the disapproval of many MPs, Sriyani Wijewickrama adjourned the parliament to 10.30 am tomorrow (September 6). However, MPs stressed that it goes against the standing order. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the respective minister could have answered the relevant questions. He questioned the chairing member as to what the standing order that says this debate must be concluded at this point.
MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage noted that the act does not state, parliament will be adjourned due to a UNP rally in Kurunegala. He noted that they must take a vote or at least finalize this matter. He added that if the government fails to do so the government must go home. MP Mujibur Rahman stressed that the parliament was adjourned, therefore whatever said in parliament is not valid.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who returned to his seat adjourned the parliament once again for 10 minutes. After re-convening the parliament, the speaker said as per the standing orders, the leader of the house has the authority to make decisions regarding parliamentary affairs. He added that the proposal calling for a vote should also be presented by the leader of the house and under such conditions, it was determined that calling for a vote in parliament was not established. He noted that as discussed and agreed by the committee on constitutional affairs, this matter will be presented in parliament on another day.
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