Speaker announces National Council nominations

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, on Friday (23), announced the names of MPs who have been nominated to the National Council.

Establishing a National Council is a proposal of Prime Minister Dinesh Guanwardena. The body would comprise MPs from the respective political parties.

The Chief Government Whip, presenting an amendment, stated the National Council will comprise the Speaker as the Chair, the Prime Minister, Leader of the House of Parliament, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the Chief Government Whip, the Chief Opposition Whip and not more than thirty-five (35) Members of Parliament.

The names announced were: Douglas Devananda, Naseer Ahamed, Tiran Alles, Sisira Jayakody, Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan, Johnston Fernando, Rauff Hakeem, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Wajira Abeywardana, A. L. M. Athaullah , Tissa Vitarana, Rishad Bathiudeen, Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Palani Digambaram, Mano Ganesan, Udaya Gammanpila, Rohitha Abegunawardhana, Namal Rajapaksa, Jeevan Thondaman, G. G. Ponnambalam, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Asanka Navarathna, Ali Sabri Raheem, C.V. Wigneswaran, Weerasumana Weerasinghe and Sagara Kariyawasam.

Since the names of a few other MPs are to be received, the announcement of such names was scheduled for the near future.

The resolution proposed by the Prime Minister, to constitute the Parliamentary Committee called National Council, was passed in Parliament on 20 September 2022 without objections.

One of the objectives of establishing a National Council is to determine the general priorities of Parliament to guide the formulation of short, medium, and long-term national policies related to economic stabilisation.

It is also tasked with organising special meetings with the Ministers of the Cabinet, the National Council, the Chairperson of Special Committees and Youth Observers of Youth Organisations. The National Council also has the power to summon reports from the Sectoral Oversight Committees, the Committee on Public Finance (COPF), the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and any committee that controls the public finance.