Call to act with restraint
‘People are supreme in any society’
‘Politicians should respect democratic norms’
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya entering the Chamber with a posse of policemen from the MPs’ entrance for the session. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunne
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya entering the Chamber with a posse of policemen from the MPs’ entrance for the session. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunne

The prevailing situation has resulted in the people calling for the holding of a General Election as the only solution to the present political impasse.

A cross section of society including religious dignitaries said that the best solution is to hold a General Election.

People are supreme in any society in any part of the world. Therefore, the people have the right to demand for an opportunity to elect a Government of their choice and they should be given that right.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should be held responsible for the situation we are facing today. It seems the sole purpose of the Speaker is to show to the world that the country is in a chaotic situation.

Commenting on the prevailing political situation in the country, Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharadhipathi Ven. Prof. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkitha Thera called upon the citizens to act with restraint at the present juncture.

“It is a very unpleasant and sorry state of affairs that we witnessed happening within Parliament, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions. What is happening there is a very bad precedent and sets a very bad example. It is the responsibility of those maintaining law and order to see that the situation is brought under control,” Ven. Prof. Sangharakkitha Thera said.

“It is very sad to note that our MPs have become a commodity and getting sold. We send our representative not to be sold for a price.

They are sent to Parliament to fulfill the people’s aspirations. But, we note that nothing of the sort happens today as the people expect. We blame the Speaker for what has happened, the Thera added.

Ven. Yatamalagala Sumanasara Thera, the Executive Director of Daham Handa Centre, Pattivila told the Daily News that what President Maithripala Sirisena had predicted a few days ago, the country is experiencing right now. Those with brains should have acted wisely to avoid the recurring conflict situation.

The Ven. Thera also opined that it was necessary to carefully study the reasons behind the current situation in Parliament. “I see the only tangible solution is to call for a General Election. There is no other solution,” the Thera said.

“There is no point in trying to add numbers by changing heads. Because that will not help in any way solve the issue. All political parties should shun their personal agendas and come to a solution that is acceptable to all,” the Thera added.

Meanwhile, CAFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon told the Daily News that the intervention of a third party is needed to solve the conflict in Parliament.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday Tennakoon further emphasised that the need of the hour is to get third party involvement to resolve the present crisis in Parliament.

Tennakoon further added that the public will see that this is a conflict between President Maithripala Sirisena and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and also a conflict between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The CAFFE Executive Director said the prevailing crisis situation cannot continue emphasised the need to resolve it before it gets worse and out of control. He further warned that there could be bloodshed and the loss of life if a third party does not intervene and help resolve the conflict between the top politicians in Parliament

Tennakoon further said that the politicians involved in these clashes should be ashamed of themselves for the manner in which they have acted in Parliament which has brought disrepute to Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the unruly behaviour displayed in Parliament by the Members of Parliament, legal experts stated that the violence created and unruly behaviour by certain Parliamentarians inside the House cannot be covered by Parliamentary Privileges.

Meanwhile, a Senior Counsel, who wished to remain anonymous told the Daily News that the individuals who committed criminal acts should be dealt with by the law, irrespective of their political party affiliations.

‘The law makers have come law breakers. Parliamentary Privileges cannot be utilised to protect their criminal acts. The police have powers to take legal action in accordance with prevailing laws,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s leading business Chambers, associations and business leaders raised concern about current political situation in Sri Lanka, noting that the political uncertainty in Sri Lanka will dampen the business confidence to a great extent in the coming days.

Issuing a joint statement, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCCI) stressed the need to resolve this issue in a peaceful and sensible manner and noted that events of the last few weeks have resulted in absolute instability which is a situation that Sri Lanka simply cannot afford.

The joint statement further noted that political uncertainty will have a significant impact on the social and economic trajectory of our country and the hinder the development of the country to a great extent.

Noting that entire administration of this country has come to a standstill and the public officers are paralyzed being unable to discharge their functions, the joint statement said, the ultimate victims are the people of our country.

“We call upon all those responsible to accord the highest priority to national interest and refrain from pursuing any path that will result in an economic downfall which will have an adverse impact on the country and the people. We call for urgent and sensible action,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, senior investment advisor attached to the SC Securities said business confidence especially among foreign investors has been tepid during the last couple of weeks and this uncertain political atmosphere will have a profound impact on overall stock market activities in Sri Lanka.




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