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Parliament

Dinesh requests Speaker to increase Ranil's security

Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to take action to increase the security of former Prime Minister and UNP National List MP Ranil Wickremesinghe, in Parliament yesterday. He made this request following MP Wickremesinghe's statement where he said that there were plans by a group of protestors to surround his house with the intervention of TNA MP Rasamanickam on Saturday.

Minister Gunawardena requested if the situation is so, to intervene to provide him with security in consultation with relevant authorities.

Minister Gunawardena said it was not the democratic practice for any political party to intimidate any MP over statements made in the House. He added that there had been one party, while it was in power, took action outside the Parliament to what the MPs said in the House. He added that it is still in existence.

 


Parliamentarians should work together in a transparent manner - Prasanna

Chief Government Whip, Public Security Minister Prasanna Ranatunga told Parliament yesterday that he was willing to step down from his post and invited the Opposition Leader to take on the role of Prime Minister and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to take on the post of Finance Minister.

He invited all Parliamentarians to unite to bring the country out of the crisis it is now in and work together in a transparent manner. Then he said, the entire country would praise the entire 225 Parliamentarians for working together to save the country from ruin.

Minister Ranatunga said in Parliament yesterday that the Minister of Finance Ali Sabry, PC had recently revealed everything about the economic crisis the country is facing, adding that protesting on the streets would plunge the country further into a deeper crisis.

The Minister made these comments participating in the debate on the IMF discussions.

He noted that the current Government has to pay for all the sins committed by all previous Governments. He said that all political parties should take responsibility for these protests and chaos on the streets putting the country further into a crisis.

“Today this country is in a situation where university lecturers and professors are teaching hatred to our children. Parents mortgage their properties and valuables in order to send their children to university. Today, see how these children are behaving. Who is directing those children? In case an incident like the one which occurred in Rambukkana happens again, who will bear the responsibility?

Ranatunga said that while he was leaving Parliament at around 5.30 p.m. on Thursday, he had noticed Police personnel having their lunch on the sides of the streets. He thanked these Police personnel for acting with such patience and restraint.

“Your elected representatives come here to talk about your problems. Everyone including the clergy and the legal groups are demanding for the establishment of an Interim Government. But, neither the Opposition Leader nor the JVP are willing to take over the country. If anyone is willing to take on the task, we will step down and hand it over to them. But, no one is willing to come forward.”

He said that food parcels were sent to people’s homes during the COVID pandemic, while people were given Rs.5,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs.15,000 and much effort was put into vaccinating the people. The Leader of the Opposition spoke very sensitively recently about the current situation. In 1977, we faced similar situations. He described the pain a son had in losing his father. At that time 60,000-70,000 youths were killed in this country and people were burnt on tyres. He said he was ready to make any sacrifice for the welfare of children.”

He pointed out that bitterness towards politicians has been created among the public regarding the vehicle permits and privileges they are accorded. However, Ranatunga said that these politicians can only serve for five years, while other government servants serve until their retirement and they too receive many benefits. However, only the privileges granted to politicians are highlighted.

“Just see the number of vehicles that are parked opposite the universities belonging to the professors and lecturers. These university heads have a duty to teach the children the right things and put them on the right path. This country cannot be developed by instilling hatred in the minds of these children. I am a father of three children and I don’t want to see my children protesting on the streets and spreading hatred. This is not a time to be divided politically, we must all unite and think about the country. Let's all unite and make sacrifices to bring the country out of this situation,” he added.

 


Kiriella urges Speaker to set early date for NCM

Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said in Parliament yesterday that he feels that Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is attempting to push back the No-Confidence Motion.

Therefore, he urged the Speaker not to do that and to set an early date for the debate on the NCM.

The Speaker responded by saying that he was amused at how Kiriella could feel what he would do. However, Kiriella said that if the Speaker fails to allow the NCM brought against the President, protesters might surround the Speaker’s residence too.

“You must remember that you are not here to protect the king, but your responsibility is to protect the rights of all Government and Opposition MPs. Hence, don’t delay this NCM. Today, those who are protesting at Galle Face are the very people who voted for you’ll. All we ask is that you allow the NCM to be debated. You can amend it as you please but, all I ask is that you allow the debate.”

Meanwhile, SJB Anuradhapura MP Rohana Bandara said that he would not attend Parliament until a decision was taken to debate the NCM as it was a waste of time. He said that nothing productive was being taken up in Parliament and it was a mere game of musical chairs. He said that while the country is protesting and making demands, instead of Parliament taking decisive decisions to resolve the issued faced by the people, it is simply a wastage of time and changing seats. Therefore, he said that until something constructive happens in Parliament he would not attend sittings.

 


Independent group in Opposition is not a cat's paw - MP M.Muzammil

The Independent group in the Opposition is not anybody's cat's paw, said Independent Parliamentarian M. Muzammil in Parliament yesterday.

He made this observation in response to TNA MP Rasamanikkam who said that the Independent group in the Opposition voted in favour of Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to elect him as the Deputy Speaker.

In response Muzammil said that it was the Independent group that proposed Siyambalapitiya as the candidate and seconded it. "Then why should we listen to Wickremesinghe to vote with him," queried Muzammil. "Rasamanikkam who is representing Parliament for the first time should be ignorant or lacks the knowledge of the Parliamentary practice to make such an announcement".

 


Parliament to blame for current situation in country - Amaraweera

Hambantota District MP Mahinda Amaraweera said in Parliament yesterday that the country was cursed due to the injustice done to farmers.

He was speaking during a debate on the statement made by the Minister of Finance regarding discussions with the International Monetary Fund.

Amaraweera said that today people are dying without medicine stating that this is a curse that has befallen the country.

He noted that Sri Lankans working and living abroad don’t want to send money home as they are suspicious that the dollars they send would be stolen.

Amaraweera blamed the entire Parliament for the current situation in the country adding that roads were carpeted with the money that was meant to provide fuel for the public.

He said that the youth who painted the walls when the President was elected are now protesting on the streets, adding that it is doubtful if this situation could be resolved even in another 50 years.

He also said that pregnant mothers are being deprived of proper nutrition and this could lead to malnutrition in the country.

Currently, the country is facing a situation where children have no food and no milk, adding that no one should however, try to take advantage or exploit this situation.

 


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