Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday asked JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to act like a mature politician.
In a statement rejecting Dissanayake’s allegations that he had been biased towards the government during the Committee Stage debate on budget 2022 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Speaker said: “I request Dissanayake not to make false accusations without knowing the full details. Such conduct is not suitable for a matured politician like him.”
The Speaker said: “During a press conference, Dissanayake alleged that I was biased and violated Standing Orders on Monday (06) during the Committee Stage Debate on Housing and Urban Development Expenditure Head. This is completely false. As a result of the SJB boycotting Parliament on that day, the Expenditure Head was passed without holding a debate and a vote. When State Minister Nalaka Godahewa stood up to start the debate, I avoided that and continued the sitting without a debate. This is according to the Standing Order 130 (5).”
The Standing Order 130 (5) states that after a question has been proposed from the Chair for reducing or omitting any Project or Object, no motion shall be made or debate allowed upon any preceding Project or Object. There are CCTV records to prove what I did on that day. In such a backdrop, it is not fair to make allegations that I violated Standing Orders, he added.
“I have given a fair amount of time to all the MPs to speak in the House, especially for the Opposition MPs. When compared to the last Parliament, the time allocated for Opposition has been increased to 48 percent from 33 percent. By doing so, I wanted to give space for fruitful discussions in the Chamber, not for false accusations, insults and useless discussions.”
(Source: The Island)