SLBC Chairman to be summoned before Parliament?

December 5, 2018

Parliament reconvened once again this morning to debate the ongoing political crisis in the country.

A special party leaders meeting headed by Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya took place at 9.30am at the Parliamentary complex.

However representatives of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance did not attend the meeting.

Parliamentary proceedings commenced at 10.30am without the participation of UPFA members.

Members of Parliament were expected to debate a resolution presented in Parliament, demanding the President to take action on the No-Confidence Motions passed in Parliament over the past several weeks.

However the party leaders agreed during the meeting to discuss the present political situation as an adjournment debate instead of the proposed motion for the day in Parliament.

Parliament was then adjourned until the 12th of December while the adjourning debate will continue till 5.30pm.

United National Party Parliamentarians Ajith P Perera and John Amaratunga called for the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation to be summoned before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.

The two MP’s highlighted that the actions of the Chairman in light of suspending the Parliament broadcast was questionable.

In response Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya admitted that the Chairman’s behaviour was concerning said the matter would be assessed promptly.

MP Ajith P Perera said necessary steps should be taken to order media channels to protect the right to information.

Speaker Karu Jaysuriya responding to the request said the General Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Parliament will direct the Chairman’s attention towards the matter.

Joining the debate MP John Amaratunga requested the Secretary to the Ministry of Communications to be summoned to Parliament and advised to resort to immediate action as time is insufficient to sort the opinion of the privileges committee.

Also speaking during the debate Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha De Silva raised objections as to why Mahinda Rajapaksa is referred to as Prime Minister on the Parliament website.

In response the Speaker stated that the matter will be addressed.

MP De Silva noted the responsible authorities should be summoned and questioned to reveal their intentions.

Joining the debate Parliamentarian SM Marikkar said Mahinda Rajapaksa who was interdicted from the post of Prime Minister is organising various meetings calling for an election.

MP Marikkar noted one such event that got underway at the Independence square yesterday was broadcast live through a state owned channel from 6.30pm – 7.30pm yesterday.

He claimed usually 30 seconds of a prime time costs Rs.150,000 adding the faction led by Mahinda Rajapaksa is misusing state assets.

The Parliamentarian said when a UPFA meeting is held it is live streamed on social media adding an investigation should be launched into the matter.

He stressed another newspaper has once again referred to Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister even after Court has issued an interim injunction claiming Mahinda Rajapaksa does not have the power.