Call to Speaker to act on chilli powder attack by MPs | Daily News


Incident in House during 2018 Constitutional coup

Call to Speaker to act on chilli powder attack by MPs

The government ministers and MPs requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in Parliament yesterday to take immediate action against those found guilty of the chilli powder attack in Parliament last year and several other incidents.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya noted that the relevant matter had been referred to the Attorney General’s Department and measures are being taken to initiate action against the perpetrators.

JVP-MP Bimal Ratnayake urged that Parliament should take action against those responsible for this incident.

Commenting on this issue, Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that disciplinary action should be taken against all 54 who were involved in this incident. “If we don’t take action against them, the people will lose faith in us. Everyone witnessed these events and the laws were broken. Therefore, action should be taken against those who were involved.”

Meanwhile, MP Sunil Handunnetti asked the Speaker if the House is waiting for the recommendations of the Attorney General to take action regarding the assault on MP Vijitha Herath.

In response, the Speaker said that it was not him but the Police was handling the case.

Expressing his views regarding this incident, MP Ashu Marasinghe noted that it’s been a year since this incident took place and it has brought disrepute to the integrity of Parliament and has placed a black mark on the country. “Therefore, I think all in parliament will agree with me that such incidents should never be repeated. Hence, we need to pass resolutions in Parliament to ensure that all those involved in this incident are punished. The action of the Attorney General is a different matter. The committee headed by the Deputy Speaker has issued recommendations and why can’t we act upon it? This is a huge issue. Therefore, we urge you (The Speaker) to take action.”

Thereafter, the Speaker noted that the Deputy Speaker was in the House at this point and said that he would focus his attention on the matter and take necessary action.

Meanwhile, MP Ajith P. Perera said that this incident which took place during the 52-day Constitutional Coup in October 2018, carries criminal liabilities against those responsible. There are also violations of privileges. “The Police has taken the criminal liability aspect into account and notified the Attorney General. There is concern about the fact that the AG’s Department is taking so long to act upon such a notable incident. In fact, they should give priority to this matter. Those who were involved in this incident broke parliament furniture, slapped the police officers and behaved violently and disruptively. This issue was taken up for discussion at the privileges committee.

Yet, priority has not been given to dealing with this incident. This is not a good thing. Today even school children are asking us why action has not been taken against these perpetrators either criminally or by parliament when this incident was witnessed live by the entire world. We are unable to give answers to these questions posed to us by children. But, if we fail to provide answers, the repute of parliament will be further besmirched. Hence, I urge that this matter should be given priority and action should be taken against those responsible.”

The Speaker in response thanked all the MPs for raising this issue and assured that action would soon be taken.

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