Verbal sexual harassment charges raised in P'liament; Speaker says he has no involvement
An alleged verbal sexual harassment incident faced by SJB MP Thalatha Atukorale during the No-Confidence Motion against Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpilawas brought to the notice of the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today (3).
Participating in the Adjournment Debate on the Central Bank Annual Report 2020, SJB MP Rohini Kaviratne said during the NCM debate, some Ministers and Government MPs hurled some derogatory words at Atukorale, which were sexually implicit.
“This is a verbal sexual harassment against a female MP in this Chamber. The female representation in Sri Lankan politics remains very low and this is a reason for that. The saddest thing is, you (the Speaker) were here when some ministers and MPs did that. You did nothing but left the floor for them to continue their abuse while laughing,” she stressed.
The Speaker said that he would look into the matter.
However, later in the day, the Speaker denied that he was in the Chamber when the alleged incident took place. In a statement, the Speaker said he had no involvement with the incident.
"This could have been easily verified by going through videos and Hansard on that particular day. It is sad that MP Kaviratne made this misleading statement without doing so," the Speaker said.