(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The ceremonial opening of third session of the Ninth Parliament is scheduled to be held today (03) under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Following the ceremonial opening of the new session, the President Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to present the government’s policy statement at 10:30 a.m. in Parliament in accordance with the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution.
Given the instructions of the President, arrangements have been made to hold the ceremony in a very simple manner. Thus, there will be no gun salutes or car parades, Sergeant-at-Arms of Parliament, Mr. Narendra Fernando said.
Instead, the President will be received in front of Parliament with a Tri Force Guard of Honor. Here the President’s flag will not be hoisted and only the National Flag will be hoisted.
The arrival of the invited guests will take place at 9.15 am. The arrival of the Members of Parliament will take place first, followed by the arrival of the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and the Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayaka will be welcoming President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the main steps of the Parliament building.
The Speaker and the Secretary General of Parliament will then escort the President to Parliament building along with the Serjeant-at-Arms, Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms and Assistant Serjeant-at-Arms.
The students of Devi Balika College, Colombo will line up for the recital of Jayamangala Gatha at the main entrance of the Parliament Building in welcoming the President.
The President will then come to the Robing room and will be there until 10.25 am. According to the tradition, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms, Sergeant at Arms with the mace, the President, the Speaker, the Secretaries and the Assistant Sergeant at Arms are paraded and enter the chamber. Upon entering the chamber, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms says “Honorable President” and the Members of Parliament stand up and welcome the President according to tradition.
After entering the Chamber, the President presides over the sitting and this time, the President’s seat is marked with the State Emblem instead of the President’s official emblem. At this time, the speaker will sit with the secretaries in the lower seat where the speaker sits during the committee stage.
Following the presentation of the Government Policy Statement by the President, the House will be adjourned. Afterwards, a tea party has been organized for the Members of Parliament and invited guests.
A Guard of Honor will also be presented when the President and First Lady leave Parliament.
Mr. Narendra Fernando further mentioned that several officials including foreign diplomats, former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chief Justice, Supreme Court Judges, Attorney General, Defence Secretary, Commanders of the tri forces and the Inspector General of Police have been invited to the ceremonial opening of the third session of the Ninth Parliament.
He also stressed that the third session of the Ninth Parliament will be ceremonially opened following all health guidelines.
The rehearsal pertaining to the ceremonial opening was held yesterday (02) at the Parliament premises and officers of the tri forces and the police, students of Devi Balika College, Colombo were present.