Proposal to suspend Standing Orders defeated

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The proposal to suspend Standing Orders and debate the Motion as a matter of urgency expressing displeasure over President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was rejected by a majority of 51 votes in Parliament yesterday (17)

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also voted against the Motion with the SLPP. Accordingly, 68 votes were cast in favour of the Motion while 119 were against.

The proposal was presented by Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) MP M.A Sumanthiran. The Motion was seconded by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella.

However, Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena expressed his objection to suspending Standing Orders. He said the Motion should be taken up for debate according to the Standing Orders.

Gunawardena: “Standing Orders should not be suspended. This Motion was included in the Order Book on 11 May and according to Standing Orders the Motion could be taken up for debate on Friday (20) after five complete days.”

He said yesterday (17) and today (18) should have been allocated for MPs to express their condemnation on the killing of SLPP MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala and property damage on 9 May and the days that followed.

“We told you about this at the Party Leaders’ meeting too. Any MP can express their opinions on these two days on those incidents. Therefore, we do not agree on suspending Standing Orders. The Motion can be taken up for debate on another day. It should be decided accordingly,” he said.

The Opposition presented the Motion to express displeasure over President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for not exercising, performing and discharging the powers of the President under the Constitution.

BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake