SJB MP displays U.S. flag in Parliament
By Gagani Weerakoon
In an unprecedented turn of events, a flag of a foreign country was displayed in the chamber of Parliament yesterday (22) by an Opposition legislator.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, during the second day debate on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill, showed the United States (U.S.) national flag and said the sole purpose of bringing about the 20th Amendment was to enable persons holding U.S.-Lankan dual citizenship to become MPs.
He said: “There would be a day soon when American citizens would come here as MPs. The 20th Amendment is to pave the way for that purpose.”
He read out the oath that should be taken by a foreigner when becoming a U.S. citizen and said as per that oath, the person who takes that should give his or her first priority to American interests.
“Where are those who wallow in patriotism today? They made use of patriotism to win elections but they pass laws against national interests. Soon there would be a day where we would be among Americans who would become MPs,” he said.
“The danger is that this Bill would not only allow Americans but also Chinese too. Chinese too can become MPs here,” he said showing the U.S. flag.
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake: “MP Jayamaha had brought the loin cloth of his former leader Ranil Wickremesinghe here. That should be removed from the house.”
MP Jayamaha, wearing a mask showing the face of a black American, said: “This house comprises Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim MPs. When we stand together it is difficult to identify who is Tamil, who is Sinhala and who is Muslim. But this Bill would help those with different racial features to come here.”
SLPP MP A.D. Jagath Kumara: “The Opposition MP read out an oath before the U.S. flag. That oath should be given before the U.S. flag. He did the same inside this house. This house should not be permitted to give the oath of allegiance to the U.S.”
Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena requested the Chair not to let the Opposition MP to act against the dignity and decorum of the house. “The Opposition MP has smuggled in items not permitted in this house. An investigation must be held as to how he had managed to bring them in here. He must be stopped from making use of this august assembly to display his undignified actions,” Abeygunawardena said.