Sri Lanka Speaker asks lawmakers to set aside divisions and find a solution to the current crisis within this week

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a special statement in Parliament yesterday (6) that parliamentary democracy will fail if the current situation in the country couldn’t be resolved within the framework of democracy. Otherwise, the lives of thousands of innocent people will end in tragedy, he said.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena made these remarks addressing the House yesterday (6) before commencing a two-day debate on the worsening economic and political crisis in the country.

“At the party leaders’ meeting it was agreed that a debate on the current situation in our country should be held today, and today we are preparing to hold that debate.

“I would like to remind you that this debate is held today at the beginning of one of the worst economic crises in our country’s history. I refer to this as the beginning of the crisis because, as I feel, economists warn that this is far more likely to escalate. There could be food shortages in the future that could be worse than today’s fuel, gas and electricity shortages. I believe that whether that is the case or whether we control it to some degree will depend on how we all act this week.”

“I know that the members of this House have been under a lot of pressure over the past few days, especially yesterday. As the custodian of the security and privileges of Members of Parliament, and as someone who believes in parliamentary democracy, I strongly condemn it. I would also like to say that the security forces including the IGP have been informed to take formal action in this regard.”

“But the reality we all need to understand is that we were subjected to just pressure experienced by the people. We have all come to this House as leaders representing a certain people. All the people represented by us are beginning to feel severe economic pressure.”

“Therefore, understanding this situation and in this debate to be held today, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that instead of debating who is at fault and where, we should discuss what should be done and how it should be done and take the appropriate decisions together by all”.

“History has shown that victory can be achieved through a collective effort with the people. The crisis we are facing in this Parliament can be resolved within the framework of democracy. If we fail in that task, so will parliamentary democracy. The results could end the lives of you, me and thousands of innocent people in this country. I have gone through two such dark ages in my life. The failure of parliamentary democracy claimed thousands of lives. Children of mine, yours, relatives and friends live in this country. I therefore, urge you to make every effort not to fail.”

“I make one request from you on behalf of the people. That is to say, before the end of this week, all divisions and political objectives should be set aside and a common program to overcome this crisis should be formulated in accordance with the Constitution and implemented with the sincere commitment of all.”

“The value of thousands of lives, as well as the supremacy of Parliament, lies in the actions we all take. With all this in mind, I invite all Ministers and Members of Parliament to participate in the debate,” the Speaker said.

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