Parliament bars PM’s Secretary drawing funds | Daily News

Parliament bars PM’s Secretary drawing funds

A motion prohibiting the Secretary to the Prime Minister from approving any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic was passed with 123 votes in favour and none against in Parliament yesterday while the UPFA MPs boycotted sittings.

The motion signed by six UNP MPs was presented to the House by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake.

It stated that from November 15, the Secretary to the Prime Minister has no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic, and any person taking any action in violation of this Resolution will be dealt with according to the law. UNP MP Navin Dissanayake seconded the motion.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, at the outset of the sittings, permitted moving the motion ruling out it being sub judice as per the advice of legal experts.

The Speaker then opened the floor for members to speak.

Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the only member present in the House to represent the Government, made a lengthy speech on the developments that led to the current political impasse. He urged the Speaker to discuss with President Maithripala Sirisena to reconcile the both parties who are at loggerheads and find an amicable solution to the constitutional crisis which had put the country in peril. He asked to temporarily halt passing the motion in an effort to resolve the matter through negotiations.

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who immediately spoke after Rajapakshe, stated that the JVP was firm that there can be no negotiations with President Sirisena.

“This was a premeditated conspiracy of the President in which he blatantly and deliberately violated the Constitution. Our attempt is to make the President act in line with the Constitution. When the first citizen of the country disobeys the rules and laws, how can one expect the ordinary public to respect those laws?” he questioned.

JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, making a fiery speech, hit hard at the MPs who were performing somersaults in the House and rebuked the UNP for placidly accepting them back in their group.

“The UNP needs a ‘Kumara Welgama’ in its group to speak straight that they cannot sit together with betrayers in a Government in future,” he said. He also proposed appointing two Parliament select committees once the dust settled on the current political crisis, one to study how the country’s laws were breached during that period and the other to assess the economic damage to the country from it.

MPs Rauf Hakeem and Dr.Rajitha Senaratne expressed their willingness for negotiations as suggested by Dr Rajapakshe. “If you are raising a white flag, we earnestly look forward to it. We are more concerned of what is right than who the individuals behind it are. The country is in a huge crisis and the innocent people should not suffer as a result of it. We appreciate the self-confidence and backbone of the Speaker and his name will be written in gold in the country’s history.

The Speaker may talk to the President immediately to come to a settlement and if the President is not ready for any settlement we pledge to fight this battle to the end,” Dr Senaratne noted.

Ven.Athuraliye Rathana thera also spoke in favour of negotiations between the Speaker and the President. Thereafter the Speaker placed the motion before the House and a vote was taken using the e-vote system around 12.15pm. Dr Rajapakshe and Ven. Rathana Thera left the House as the quorum bell was rung.

TNA MP Sivasakthi Ananthan was absent. The motion was carried with 123 MPs, including MPs Wasantha Senananayake and Vadivel Suresh, voting in favour of it. The Speaker then adjourned the sittings till 10.30am today. A motion to cut the expenditure of ministers is to be taken up today.

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