Government MPs request Sri Lanka Speaker not to publish Hansard reports

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The parliamentarians of Sri Lanka’s controversial government have made a written request to the Speaker of parliament Karu Jayasuriya not to publish Hansard reports on parliamentary sessions held after the President abruptly dissolved the parliament last month.

A letter signed by nine government MPs claims that the parliamentary sittings held on the 14, 15, 16, 19, 21 and 23 November were not in conformity with the Constitution, Standing Orders and the Parliamentary tradition.

The Leader of the House, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Chief Government Whip, Minister SB Dissanayake, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Mahinda Amaraweera, Chamal Rajapaksa, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Douglas Devananda have signed the letter sent to the Speaker.

They have asked the Speaker to stop publishing the Hansard reports on those days since the reports are not acceptable.

A copy of the letter has been sent to the Secretary General of Parliament.

The government MPs have earlier attempted to block the parliamentary proceedings and later have decided to boycott the sessions.

During the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 16 November, the MPs supporting Rajapaksa threw books, chairs and chili powder mixed with water at the Speaker and the police officers escorting the Speaker and opposition MPs to try to block the voting. However, amid the chaos the no-confidence motion against PM was passed by the parliament with a majority.

During the session on 23 November, government MPs boycotted the vote on the allocation to the Parliamentary select Committee and walked out of the Chamber. The parliament approved the composition of the Parliament Select Committee assigned by the Speaker with a majority vote dealing a blow to the government.

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