PSC proceedings open to media | Daily News


Special Media Unit for Parliament:

PSC proceedings open to media

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced that a Special Media Unit would be established in the Parliamentary Complex next month.

The Speaker also announced that he instructed Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake to take measures to remove the existing obstacles enabling more proceedings to be opened to the media.

He also added that the Chairmen of any Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) have been vested with powers to invite the media to report proceedings.

The Speaker made these observations in Parliament when Leader of the House and Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella requested the Speaker to open the proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee which was appointed to inquire into the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on several churches and hotels,to the media.

Minister Kiriella further said the functions of the same Parliamentary Select Committee commenced on Thursday. It should be open to the public by way of the media since the government had nothing to hide.

“The Chair has the power in line with the Standing Orders. It is the media that creates news to support the Opposition. When the media is invited, the people will know the truth,” Minister Kiriella said.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said at this stage that the Chairman of any Parliamentary Select Committee have been vested with powers to invite the media to publish their proceedings.

Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology Non Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera said it was Speaker Jayasuriya who took measures to open the Parliament proceedings to the public. He requested that not only the proceedings of this Special Committee, but let the proceedings of all Parliamentary Select Committees be open to the media.

UNP Parliamentarian Prof. Ashu Marasinghe requested Speaker Jayasuriya to open proceedings of the Oversight Committee to the media as well.

He added the where the Standing Orders are concerned, the Chairmen of those Committees have restrictions with regard to inviting the media. For three years, we have been making a request to amend those Standing Orders to enable the Chairmen of the Oversight Committees and Sub Committees to invite the media.

He added that it was very important for the public to be aware of what is happening before the Oversight Committees. He added that people should be made aware of the workload done by the members of these committees. He added the public should know as to who works. Speaker Jayasuriya said that he would look into the matter.

Leader of the House Minister Kiriella said that Parliament Select Committees have a common set of rules by which the Oversight Committees too are covered.

Opposition Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the Opposition has nothing to hide as Minister Kiriella noted. He added if both the Government and Opposition have nothing to hide then the proceedings will be transparent.

Minister Kiriella then invited MP Nanayakkara and members of the Opposition to join the process at the Parliamentary Select Committee.




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