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Parliament

Deputy Chairman of Committees to inform Speaker on State Land (Special Provision) Bill

Deputy Chairman of Committees Selvam Adaikalanathan presiding in Parliament yesterday observed that he would inform the Speaker to take measures on the State Land (Special Provision) Bill.

He made this observation following the views expressed by opposition and government side members over the Bill which was in the Order Paper of Parliament for the Second Reading.

MEP Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena raising a Point of Order stated that the State Land (Special Provision) Bill was in yesterday’s Order Paper despite the fact that the Supreme Court had decided that the Bill was not in accordance with the Constitution.

He added that according to the Court order, the President has to inquire about the views of the Provincial Councils before the Bill is presented in the House. He added the government has to withdraw the same bill.

Opposition MPs Bandula Ginawardena, Nimal Lansa, Sisira Jayakody Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila also expressed their views.

Responding to MP Gunawardena Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella inquired as to what was the matter with the Bill when it is designed to grant deeds to 2.5 million people who are already settled in state lands. He added that 90 percent of the country’s lands comes under government and those people who are in state lands are facing inconvenience for being unable to take loans from banks keeping the lands as guarantee.

He added that the government would study the Court Order and take measures accordingly later.

MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the government has to abide by this Court Order.

MP Weerawansa further said that this Bill has been formulated to pave the way to sell the lands to US investors from Trincomalee to Colombo under Millennium Challenge Corporation.

At this stage, Minister Kiriella said that all in the Rajapaksa family are American citizens.

Deputy Chairman of Committees Selvam Adeikalanathan observed that he would inform the Speaker to take suitable measures.

 


Opposition members want more info on lap tops provided to MPs

Opposition members called for an explanation from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya regarding the basis of procurement of the lap tops provided to Parliament members.

Recently, a Parliamentarian had in his statement referred to Parliament as the most corrupt state establishment in the country, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Nimal Lanza said.

“Recently, a lawmaker identified the Parliament as the most corrupt establishment in the country. This lawmaker has also stated that the laptops made available for the use of all Members in the Chamber are a part of a bribe given to Parliament. We don’t know if these computers are a part of a bribe as mentioned by this particular lawmaker or not.”

UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa quipped in by stating that only a small number of MPs use these computers and those were made available even without a request being made for such facilities.

“Even though there is a laptop placed in front of me, I have not even opened it at all. This machine requires a password. Most lawmakers are not using these computers. We did not request for these computers even though it was provided. We need to know how it was provided. This is a serious concern if Parliament has stooped to the level of accepting bribes,” he said.

 


Zahran’s story came to light with appointment of PSC - Kiriella

The real story behind Thawheed Jamaath Leader Zahran did come to light with the appointment of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday terrorist attack, Leader of the House and Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella said in Parliament yesterday.

He made this observation agreeing with the statement made by JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake joining the debate on the extension of the Emergency Regulations by another one month.

Minister Kiriella said that legal action was taken against Zahran in 2017 at Kaththankudi. He added that the Intelligence Head were after Zahran.

 


Sri Lanka should amend marriage law - Bimal

JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake said that the marriage law is being amended all over the world and it is high time for Sri Lanka to attend to this matter too.

He made this observation yesterday joining the debate on the extension of the Emergency Regulation by another one month.

MP Rathnayake said that most of the members spoke of the attacks made by the extremists in US and in India but none of them were made with prior notification.

He said that much information has been revealed as the Select Committee was established on the Easter Sunday terror attacks. He added that the shirking of responsibilities by the Attorney General’s Department ignites racism.An investigation should be initiated on the shirking of responsibilities by the Attorney General’s Department.

MP Rathnayake said the extension of Emergency Laws can ensure the protection of the people yet the same cant free the people from fear. He added hence Civil Societies have a responsibility to create an opinion on this matter.

He also pointed out that all the underage marriages that have been taken place in 2018 are Muslim and Malay.

He added that the underage marriages violates Children’s Rights. Almost all the countries are amending the marriage laws. Sri Lanka too should ban child marriages. The country too should repeal the laws that pave the way for racism and extremism.

 


Wahabism was created in UK - Wimal

Opposition Member Wimal Weerawansa said that Wahabism was created in United Kingdom, which states that all Muslims should live in line with the Quran. He said that most of the traditional Muslims are suffering from Wahabism.

He made these observations yesterday joining the debate on the extension of the Emergency Regulation by another one month period.

Wimal Weerawansa also said that former MP Navavi’s son is attached to the Attorney General Department. He added that the questioned Malik Azeez is working under him and those two have not pleaded before the Court to suspend Thawheed Jamaath Organization. He queried as to why steps are not been taken against those who did not not take suitable measures.

MP Weerawansa said that Navavi is a member of Rishad Bathuideen’s Party. He added that Sathosa imported heroin during the period when Bathuideen was the related Minister. The FBI officers met the Islamic detainees who were taken in connection with the terrorist attack.

He added that the Central Bank says the money remitted from foreign countries cannot be monitored due to the Foreign Exchange Act. He added all the Acts and Laws passed under this government have been drawn back this country. He also added that Mahinda Rajapaksa had not met Dr.Safi or his wife.

 


Emergency extended to bolster security -Deputy Minister

Initiating the extension of Emergency regulations by another month on behalf of the government, Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Karunarathna Paranawithana said the government does not intend to govern the country under Emergency regulations.

“That is why we removed the long standing Emergency regulations, removed all road blocks and allowed the people to live freely. The people have given thr freedom to hold demonstrations. We governed under normal law, but after the Easter Sunday terror attacks, we were forced to re-impose the Emergency regulations. We have taken a number of decisions to establish national security and we have arrested many who posed a threat to national security. Therefore, until a regular law can be established to ensure the security of the country, the Emergency regulations would be extended for a short period,” he said.

The Deputy Minister added that today,religion has become the cause for separatism and conflict the world over. Hence, we need to look at this issue much closely. In addressing the issue of national security, as a responsible government we need to access this issue in an unbiased manner without targeting any race or religion. However, if religion is the cause of conflict, we need to ascertain how we could look at the mainstream religious scriptures and traditions. We must decide on whether we need to adhere to all such religious practices which were followed at the primitive stages. He said people today are religious but not righteous, which leads to conflict.

“Today, the background causes which leads to conflict is incorporated in our various laws and education systems. However, the government has planned many revisions to these traditional and outdated laws. Sadly though the process is being delayed much to the disgruntlement of the people. There are several laws such as the Muslim marriage laws, the Thesavalamai laws and Kandyan laws etc which we have accepted for the benefit of the various communities. However, if these very laws are causing conflict among the communities and creating tensions, then just like the religious beliefs and practices, we need to also look at amending these laws too,” he said.,He said that the government does not propose the complete abolition of these personal laws, but all personal laws should be re-evaluated.

He said if these laws clash with human rights laws and increases tensions, these should be revised and a common law should be passed which is fair to all.

 


Emergency extended

The state of Emergency was extended by one month in Parliament yesterday with a majority of 40 votes.

At the end of the debate, the TNA asked for a division on the resolution under the Public Security Ordinance. TNA MP S. Sritharan called for the division.

The resolution received 42 votes in favour and two votes against.

 


Arjuna calls for PSC probe into alleged SLC corruption

Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the alleged corruption that had taken place at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after 2015.

Making a special statement in Parliament yesterday, Ranatunga alleged that cricket in Sri Lanka has been destroyed after the ‘good governance’ government assumed power.

“All Sports Ministers appointed by the current government destroyed cricket in Sri Lanka. The SLC has become a den of thieves under good-governance. Since 2015, the SLC has been controlled by the gamblers and race bookies. SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala admitted in Parliament that he and his family has links with the race bookie business. Sumathipala and his gang tried to destroy cricket before. But Sport Ministers prior to 2015 took steps to protect cricket from the mafia created by Sumathipala and the gang. But after 2015, the situation changed completely, paving the way for these unscrupulous elements to take control,” Ranatunga alleged.

Ranatunga accused Sumathipala of having amended sports laws to appoint unqualified persons to crucial posts in the SLC. He also alleged that Sumathipala swindled colossal amounts of money paid to SLC by international broadcast services for thre telecasting rights of cricket matches.

 


Emergency extension not to subvert people’s movements- Ruwan

Although the Opposition criticizes the US inquiring into the detainees of the Easter Sunday terror attacks, the government has cooperated with various agencies all over the world who combat extremism, Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said in Parliament yesterday.

He said hence the government has had to cope up with the UK, France and Russia as well. He said that MP Weerawansa made such a statement. He also said that although the Opposition attempted to create a fake Boogeyman image about the USA, it attempts to select a American citizen for their Presidential candidate.

He made these observations joining the debate on the extension of the Emergency Regulations by another one month.

State Minister Wijewardene said that the Emergency Regulations is extended by a month after consulting with the various security agencies in the country. He also said that the Emergency Law is extended not to subvert the trade unions or their actions.

He also said that the Kandy procession is to be held next month and a large crowd would come to the watch it. Security has already been strengthened in the Central Province. He also said that the Dondra procession is to be held and church feasts are to be held in the near future. “Due to these reasons the government seeks to extend the Emergency regulations to provide security to them,” State Minister Wijewardene said.

He also said following the Easter Sunday terror attacks by Islamic extremists, the Security Forces could arrest all those who assisted Zahran. However, we are taking measures to arrest those who listened to Zahran’s lecturers. In this endeavour, Zahran’s wife’s brother could be arrested.

He said that MP Weerawansa alleged that government assisted US informants. “However, extremism is existing all over the world.So we have had to cope up with all who work against extremism,” the State Minister said.

“We have had to work with the UK, France as well as with Russia. Hence, the FBI officers went to Welisara to meet those detainees.”

He added the opposition attempts to create an unnecessary image on the US investigations. But the Opposition is attempting to select a US citizen as their Presidential Candidate.

 

 

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