Several MPs have requested hotel rooms during Parliamentary week if arrangements cannot be made to provide fuel, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday (19).
He made this remark after MPs argued about arrangements made for them to refuel at the Police garage in Narahenpita. Public outcry followed when footage showed the old rates displayed on the fuel pump.
“Some MPs said it is difficult for them to attend sessions because of the fuel shortage and requested me to make some arrangement for them to refuel. They also requested for some hotel accommodation if it is not possible to get fuel,” the Speaker said.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Buddhika Pathirana: “The Media showed that fuel was given to MPs at Rs 121 per litre by this particular fuel station. This is utterly shameless and disgraceful. We do not need these privileges. Just stop giving more reasons for the public to hate us.”
Independent MP Weerasumana Weerasinghe: “The pump at Narahenpita Police garage has not been updated for a few months. That is why it showed old prices.
An innocent MP was killed. Amarakeerthi Athukorala was a person who has not wronged anyone. All the 225 MPs who act like donkeys should take the responsibility for that murder. The people hate us. Every time Parliament meets that hatred grows. If we go near a fuel queue, each and every one of us will be killed by the people. They hate us that much. I warned you that MPs would have to face this situation in about a month or two. This Parliament has been spreading hate for the past few months. We are experiencing the results now. The Speaker has to take steps to stop this. MPs including the Opposition’s ones use about two hours from the Sittings to spread hate. This should be stopped immediately.”
MP Mohonmad Muzammil claimed that none of the MPs got fuel for older prices.
Delivering a statement on the issue, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said the fuel was sold to the MPs at market prices.
“This station distributes fuel to the Police only. However, after the Speaker’s request, IGP Wickramaratne requested us to buy fuel on cash. The dispenser had not been updated. This is a grave mistake by them. That is why it showed old prices. We have not violated any laws regarding fuel quantity limits or prices. None of the MPs have obtained fuel for less than market prices. Those who spread this news know this. But they carry out their agendas,” he said.
The Minister further said that an investigation was launched to find out why the pump was not updated according to market prices.
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake