Speaker carries out UNP’s agenda - SB | Daily News

Speaker carries out UNP’s agenda - SB

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is acting in an adamant manner with the intention of being named as the Common Candidate at the next Presidential election, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said.

Addressing a media briefing in the Parliamentary complex yesterday, he said the Speaker is acting in a stubborn manner and conducting Parliamentary business together with the TNA, JVP, SLMC and several other UNF factions for the satisfaction of the UNP.

“What will happen if the Supreme Court determined the President’s decision to dissolve Parliament was valid. If it happened, all Parliament proceedings up to now would be null and void,’President’s Counsel Marapana observed.

In reply, President’s Counsel K. Kanag-iswaran and Counsel Suren Fernando appearing for UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the petition before this court is nothing to do with dissolution of Parliament. They contended that the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to issue an order in the nature of Quo Warranto in terms of Article 140 of the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court will look into the matter relating to the dissolution of Parliament. The resolution for the No Confidence Motion was passed in a duly summoned Parliament,” President’s Counsel Kanag-iswaran added.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for Minister Udaya Gammanpila informed Court that the Court of Appeal does not have the jurisdiction to hear this matter since it relates with the Parliamentary affairs. He further argued that this application cannot be maintained since the President and the Speaker have not been made as parties.

‘The Speaker never said motion for the No Confidence Motion was carried. What transpired in Parliament can be examined through the video footage officially released by Parliament website. A Quo Warranto cannot be issued based on the uncorrected version of Parliament proceedings (Hansard reports).

Silva further stated that the court has to consider the consequences of an Interim Order prior to grant it as requested by petitioners. If court issues an Interim Order, country would be in anarchy. There will be no Prime Minister or Cabinet of Ministers to govern the country,’ Silva added.

Meanwhile, Gamini Marapana PC further submitted to court that there is no ex-facia No Confidence Motion duly passed in Parliament since it was passed using voice vote while standing orders being suspended.

President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena and Manohara de Silva PC were also made their oral submissions against the writ petition.

In this petition, the petitioners further sought an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that 49 respondents including the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the incumbent government are not entitled to hold the office of ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

The petitioners, the Members of Parliamentarians representing the United National Party, Tamil National Alliance, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and several other parties filed this petition naming 49 persons including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as respondents.

The petitioners stated that on November 14, 2018, Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence against the purported government of the Respondents. They further stated that on November 16, Parliament passed another Vote of No-Confidence against the Government. They maintained that in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, the Cabinet stood dissolved from November 14, 2018.

“Even the proposal to cut the expenditure of the Prime Minister can only be brought to Parliament through an act and this too can only be done by a Minister after having it passed by the Cabinet. So what is the Speaker doing? We told the Speaker to seek advice from the Attorney General, but instead he gets his advice from the Sirikotha lawyers,” Dissanayake said.

He said that recently a senioer UNPer had told MP Ananda Aluthgamage that the next Common Candidate for the Presidency would be Karu Jayasuriya and then they could work well under him. There is currently a poster campaign in this regard as well. Hence, his actions today are clearly biased and in favour of the UNP towards realising his own agenda,” noted S.B.Dissanayake.

According to Dissanayake, having realised that it was impossible for the President to carry out his duties and serve the nation with the UNP and with the SLFP faction leaving the Unity Government, the President had to take a courageous decision, which he did.

“Once the SLFP group left the Unity Government, it automatically ceased to exist and so did the Prime Minister. Then there was a vacancy and the President then appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister whom the President felt has the Parliamentary majority and the majority support of the people. Thereafter, once the President had established the government, what the Speaker had to do was to accept the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House appointed by the Prime Minister and establish a Selection Committee, which would meet and then establish the Parliamentary Business committee. They would meet and discuss the agenda given by the Leader of the House and convene Parliament. This is the Speaker’s duty,” Dissanayake said.

He pointed out that when Ranil Wickremesinghe came to Parliament with 51 members we had 150 members in the Opposition.

“The Speaker at the time was Chamal Rajapaksa and he never asked Wickremesinghe for a show of majority. He accepted his appointment and carried on with his duties without any fuss. Hence, this whole issue was muddled right from the start by none other than Speaker Karunaratne Jayasuriya by his high handed actions,” Dissanayake said.

Hence, he said that they are waiting for the court decision and if it permits an election and in an election, Rauff Hakeem’s seven seats would drop to three, Rishad Bathiudeen’s five would become two, Mano Ganesan would not win a single seat, Digambaram’s four seats would become one, TNA’s 1’ would drop to 13 and those three seats would go to Douglas Devananda. Hence, if we go in for an election, we would easily be able to make up 130 and form a strong government.

“On the other hand if the court decides otherwise, we ask the Speaker to form a government legitimately,” said S.B.Dissanayake.



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