President presides over ceremonial opening

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The ceremonial opening of the third session of the Ninth Parliament was held yesterday (3) under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. On the President’s instructions, the event was kept low-key and thus had no gun salutes and vehicle parades.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake received the President near the main entrance of the Parliament building.

It was followed by a Tri-Forces Guard of Honour. Thereafter, the Speaker and the Secretary-General of Parliament, led by the Serjeant-at-Arms, Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms, and Assistant Serjeant-at-Arms, welcomed the President into the Parliament building.

The President received blessings as the students of Devi Balika Vidyalaya recited Jaya Mangala Gatha. The President remained in the Robing Room until 10:25 a.m. and paraded entering the Chamber according to the tradition followed by the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms, Sergeant-at-Arms with the mace, the President, the Speaker, the Secretaries and the Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms.

At around 10:30 a.m., the President presided over the House and presented the Policy Statement of the Government.

The ceremony was followed by a tea party for Parliamentarians and invitees. The Tri-Forces accorded a Guard of Honour when the President and the First Lady left Parliament.

Foreign diplomats, the Chief Justice, Supreme Court Judges, the Attorney General, Defence Secretary, Tri-Forces Commanders, and the IGP were present.

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake