Home / News/ Opening committee proceedings to media has helped re-establish trust in P’ment: Speaker

Opening committee proceedings to media has helped re-establish trust in P’ment: Speaker

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 10 August 2019 00:00

 Speaker Karu Jayasuriya 

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

Opening Parliament committee proceedings to the public through media has helped re-establish the lost trust of parliamentary democracy, held Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday, inaugurating the new camera and broadcast system installed at the Secretariat of Committee on Public Enterprises (CoPE).

Speaker Jayasuriya said the media had the chance to witness committee meetings, usually conducted behind closed doors in the past, when the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday attacks was opened to reporters: “The 8th Parliament has passed a few milestones in Parliamentary history. Allowing media at Parliament Select Committee appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday attack was a crucial decision taken to narrow the gap between the Parliament and the people. As a result, the Parliament Select Committee appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday attack has become more popular than the Kopi Kade teledrama in television.”

The Speaker held that he is looking at allowing media to witness the Sectoral Oversight Committees without a delay by setting a high standard to be followed by other parliaments in the world. “We have managed to establish parliamentary democracy with 190 parliaments in the world. Some parliaments have started to follow us by increasing their standards,” held the Speaker, requesting that the media be responsible in their work. 

CoPE Chairman, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) lawmaker Sunil Handunnetti commending the European Union and the United Nations Development Program for supporting the Sri Lanka Parliament in digitalising the CoPE proceedings, commended Speaker Jayasuriya for taking the bold steps to change the Standing Orders of Parliament and also to amend the Parliament Privileges Act to suite media reporting. “Opening the doors of the CoPE will make the State officers as well as the politicians take correct steps and be transparent. This is a serious victory in parliamentary democracy in the country and I thank the Speaker for taking the necessary decisions. I trust the lost public trust regarding Parliament will be re-established and the heavy criticism on social media will cease in the days to come with opening doors to the public,” said Handunnetti, who preferred to have an assessment in a few weeks to further improve the CoPE outreach via media. 

However, soon after the inauguration, media was asked to leave the CoPE Secretariat to commence the sitting scheduled with the Industrial Development Board and the State Printing Corporation.

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