Parliament | Daily News


Root cause of issues must be addressed - Leader of the House

Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena said that according to Buddhism, there is no point in finding solutions to what is seen on the surface without addressing the root cause of an issue. He said that if the issues are not resolved by changing ministers, then there is a bigger problem.

He pointed out that this is what led to the spate of incidents on May 9.

He noted that 30% of the country’s population are youth, adding that today they are demanding answers by way of protests, for the issues they are facing. “The problem is that we at this level cannot see or understand. Changing ministers alone is pointless if solutions to their demands cannot be provided.”

Referring to the demolition of his Boralugoda house, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena questioned whether it was culture or humanity to set fire to the library, which is more than 100- years-old and used for international research.

“I am not perturbed by the burning down of my house, I can somehow find the resources to rebuild it. However, I am deeply saddened by the fact that they burned down my library that has valuable books over 100-years-old that has been used even internationally for referencing. Is this our culture? Has our culture stooped down to such a level where just a pint of kerosene and a match box determines our values? This is a question of humanity.”

He added that there were certain leaders who masterminded the incidents on the 9th and that information was gathered using drones a few days prior to that day. The Leader of the House said that it would be a serious problem if only those people who were sent to carry out the attacks were arrested and the leaders who masterminded these incidents were allowed to go scot-free.

He said that the Kirulapone house where he lived was a place where leaders of all communities came and that he did not see any party affiliation in the discharge of his duties.

He emphasized the need for a change in the Constitution and said that whatever amendments were made, the issue should be addressed. He also said that social problems could not be prevented if the problems of the 30% of the younger generation were not addressed.

He also noted that the country lacks proper policies pertaining to fuel, power and transport.

Gunawardena further said, “The country must be prevented from being destroyed by fraudsters, gossip mongers and extortionists. It could also destroy the democratic parliamentary system. All members of Parliament, including the Speaker, should pay attention to this. As the gap between the rich and the poor widens, social unrest is inevitable. We are a country that spends more than our income and we must get out of that situation. The costly electoral system needs to be changed. If the law enforcement authorities are not capable of arresting the perpetrators responsible for this carnage, Parliament must be strengthened to deal with it.

The police who shot into the air to disperse the protesters that surrounded the President’s residence, did nothing when the mobs were attacking during this unrest. Their inactiveness eventually led to the killing of parliamentarian Amarakeerthi Athukorale.

He also said that every household in Colombo cooks using gas and when there is no power at night, people step out onto the streets.

Gunawardena added that having been in politics for over 50 years, he has not harmed anyone in any way.


Some politicians acting for personal gains - Digambaram

Considering what is taking place today, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Palani Digambaram said that he was ashamed to even come to Parliament and is considering stepping down from politics.

He said that those who joined the protesters in shouting ‘Gota Go Home’ are now going to him and getting Ministerial posts. Digambaram said that he cannot fathom this sort of politics.

Digambaram said that these MPs did not change their stance for the sake of the country, but for their own benefit.

However, MP Namal Rajapaksa sprang to the defence of the SJB members who accepted Ministerial posts claiming that the SJB had agreed to the formation of a National Government and the two SJB Parliamentarians had joined the National Government in line with that proposal.

Referring to the proposal by the Prime Minister to cultivate lands that are not being utilised, he requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to distribute the uncultivated lands in the plantation areas to the people for cultivation.


Speaker endorses Certificate on “Sri Shakyasinharama Viharastha Karyasadhaka Sanvidanaya” Bill

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana announced in Parliament yesterday that he endorsed the certificate on the Bill entitled “Sri Shakyasinharama Viharastha Karyasadhaka Sanvidanaya” (Incorporation) on the 18th.

The Bill was recently moved by Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena as a Private Member's Bill.

Accordingly, the Incorporation of the Sri Shakyasinharama Viharastha Karyasadhaka Sanvidanaya (Incorporation) Act No. 15 of 2022 will come in to effect from May 18.


SJB MP wants clarification on daily expenses of House

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian S.M. Marikkar requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to clarify the baseless allegation that the Parliamentarians consume Rs 9 million on a sitting day in Parliament.

He made this request while the Parliamentarians spoke of the misleading statements made by MPs in Parliament to become popular among the public and gain petty political benefits.

He said that the Speaker should clearly show the difference between the expenses in the Parliament on a sitting day and a non sitting day. He added that the additional expenses in Parliament on sitting day would be for Air Condition machines in the House and those for the administrative activities.

He added that when the expenses on food are concerned, there are more than 1,000 employees in the Parliament working on a day-to-day basis and several hundreds attending on sitting days for other duties.

He added food is provided to all in addition to the other expenses. Hence, putting all the expenses to the account of the parliamentarians by news creators and social media is unjust.

He added most of them are doing it deliberately.


MP Buddhika Pathirana’s statement causes stir in House

Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana yesterday said in Parliament that he did not know any Parliamentarian who had obtained fuel at a subsidiary rate of Rs 121.

He made this observation in Parliament when the Speaker queried as to if Buddhika Pathirana knew any member who obtained fuel at a cheaper rate as Rs 121.

This dialogue took place when Parliamentarians said that MP Pathirana's statement the previous day had breached their privileges and demanded him to apologize for his baseless and incorrect allegation.

MP Athukorala said that MP Buddhika Pathirana provoked the people by saying that MPs were getting fuel at a rate of Rs. 121. He added that several MPs were using the first two hours of the sittings to spread hatred among the people against the MPs.

He also said that none of the MPs had obtained fuel at Rs.121. He added that none of the MPs whose houses were burnt by the criminals, never asked for funds to rebuild their houses. He added that 53 MPs of SLPP had in writing expressed their willingness not to partake of their meal.

Minister Prasanna Ranathunga said that Buddhika Pathirana's statement was the main slogan of the protest by the Inter University Students Federation on Thursday. He added that he requested the Speaker to facilitate the needy members to get fuel from the Police Garage following the incident on May 9. He added that the MPs too were given fuel at the market price.

At this stage, the Speaker inquired if MP Pathirana knew an MP who got fuel at Rs. 121 to which Pathiramana kept silent.



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