The Opposition has protested in Parliament today regarding the All Ceylon Tamil Congress MP GG Ponnambalam not being allowed to make a statement under the Standing Orders.
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena stated that such a statement could not be allowed under Standing Order 27 (2).
The Speaker also stated that a statement could not be allowed regarding an ongoing court case.
Leader of the National People’s Power Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Speaker’s actions were biased towards the government faction.
MP Dissanayake said a party leader has the ability to make a special statement and raise questions.
The Parliamentarian said he regrets the decision made by the Speaker while stating that he believes the Speaker should’ve at least discussed the matter with other party leaders.
MP Dissanayake called for the matter to be discussed at length during the party leaders meeting tomorrow.
Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said no restrictions could be imposed on statements made under Standing Order 27 (2).
The Opposition Leader called on the Speaker to refrain from doing so and curtailing the democratic rights of all parties in Parliament.
Opposition Leader Premadasa noted if there are time restrictions, Parliament can convene earlier or the session can be extended.
Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena also expressed his views stating that the Parliament session can commence at 9am, if there are time restrictions.
The Minister also noted that matters concerning Standing Orders 27 (2) was not discussed during the party leaders meeting.
Minister of Justice Ali Sabry stated that the decision of the Speaker should be deemed final and cannot be challenged.
The Justice Minister said if a certain individual claims the decision reached by the Speaker is incorrect, the matter must be studied at length if it is to be overturned.
Meanwhile, the motion to suspend the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committees until the resolution pertaining to the proposed Consultative Committees to be established under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution is brought in, was passed unanimously in Parliament today.
The relevant motion was moved by the Leader of the House, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.