Opposition MPs sign no-confidence motion against the Speaker

Several opposition parties, led by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene on Monday (26 Feb.), claiming that he had violated the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, several MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, have signed the no-confidence motion against the Speaker for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

Speaking in this regard earlier this month, Samgi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) leader Sajith Premadasa charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

“The Speaker has granted approval for the Online Safety Act in an unlawful manner. We carried out an analysis regarding the matter. The recommendations of the Supreme Court have been neglected on 09 instances”, he said.

“We have no confidence on the Speaker anymore. We will have to consider whether [the parliament] has confidence on the Speaker or not, in the future”, he added.

As such, the no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.