Sajith seeks debate on final report
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Requesting the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing political victimisation of public officials from 2015 to 2019, be tabled in Parliament at the coming session, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said it should be taken up for debate throughout the next Parliamentary week.
He claimed the Government is making a malicious attempt to cover up its irregularities and corruption, by stopping the political activities of Opposition representatives who expose them. He said although they had, on a number of occasions, requested that the PCoI report be tabled in Parliament, the Government has not yet taken steps to do so.
“At present, in addition to the PCoI, another special Presidential Commission has been appointed to prepare a report on implementation of the recommendations of the PCoI. That Commission should submit its report within three months on the action to be taken. So why not publish the PCoI report? What is the Government trying to hide?,” he queried.
Adding that an independent Judiciary was in operation in the country, Premadasa said it would be an insult to the Judiciary if the Government tries to reverse the judgments given by independent Judges of Courts, through other means. He added that if such a thing happens, all possible steps will be taken to prevent it.
Speaking to the Media at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo yesterday (18), he also said if the Government tries to silence the political representatives of the Opposition, they will take steps to defeat such a move democratically and invite all forces, irrespective of party or political ideologies, to do so.
“We are keeping an eye on every action of the Government. If any injustice is caused through this report, there are a number of actions to be taken, including going to Court. We will take all those steps,” he said.
Also, MP Rauff Hakeem, who attended the Media briefing, said information has been received that the PCoI report is being prepared to be passed using a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
However, I hope that not only Opposition MPs, but also ruling party representatives will oppose such a move, he added.
Meanwhile, SJB General Secretary, MP Ranjith Maddumabandara, speaking at the same Media briefing, said it is not right for a Commission appointed by a politician to take decisions regarding cases pending in the Supreme Court and the other Courts.
He said it had been more than a month since the PCoI's report was handed over to the President, but it was questionable why it had not been tabled in Parliament thus far.
“The President said it will be tabled in Parliament when he submitted it to Cabinet. When inquired about this, the Speaker said the report had not been received from the Presidential Secretariat by then. But the distance between the Presidential Secretariat and Parliament is only about ten minutes,” he said.