Friday, 16th April 2021

‘Those involved in proroguing Parliament now shedding crocodile tears’

Sri Lanka, Oct. 31 — Politicians who were involved in the most controversial incidents such as proroguing Parliament are now shedding crocodile tears claiming that President Maithripala Sirisena has violated the country’s democracy by proroguing Parliament for only 11 days, UPFA Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said.

He was speaking at a media conference at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

“During the Parliamentary history of the country, Parliament has been prorogued 24 times. Some of those incidents were very unpleasant and anti-democratic,” the MP said.

MP Alahapperuma said in 1991, then President Ranasinghe Premadasa prorogued Parliament to buy time to scuttle an impeachment motion against him, and in 2015, Parliament was dissolved before presentation of the COPE report by D.E.W. Gunasekera. He alleged that former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was behind these two incidents.

The Budget 2019 was scheduled to be presented to Parliament on November 5 and since the present government needs some time to prepare the Budget, Parliament was prorogued only for 11 days. The US State Department, international forces and Wickremesinghe are trying to misinterpret this incident as a ‘violation of democracy’, Alahapperuma said.

He said the European Union and US State Department are attempting to intervene in this domestic issue at the request of former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and India, Russia, China and other countries do not intervene in our domestic issues.

Without any hesitation, Wickremesinghe called for the UN peacekeeping force to be deployed to Sri Lanka and he didn’t make this type of requests to defeat the LTTE. But none of these foreign elements acted like this when the elections were postponed for a long period, he said.

He made a request from the Bhikkus who are going to chant pirith at Temple Trees to chant Parabhawa Sutta and Atanatoya Sutta for 100,000 times and he also asked the police to take necessary measures to ensure the security of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who held the Prime Minister’s position and Opposition Leader’s position four times.

Speaking at the media conference, UPFA Parliamentarian Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that Sri Lanka is not a country ruled under the Westminster system of Parliamentary government and the Constitution is a combination of the French and US government systems. So the Executive President has the authority to take the decision of the position of Prime Minister.

Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, anybody can file a fundamental rights case against the President if the appointment of present Prime Minister is illegal. But without doing that, Wickremesinghe is seeking assistance from Western diplomats.

“The US State Department and some other international institutions are making various statements and they are using the word ‘arbitrary’ and we ask them to remove that word from their statements,” he said.

Nanayakkara said the JVP is also fulfilling a contract of the UNP by forcing the President to convene Parliament. “We are not opposing that. But the Executive President has to fulfill his responsibilities before convening Parliament.” Parliamentarians Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane and Sisira Jayakody also spoke at the media conference.

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