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Speaker denies remark by Wijeyadasa

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  • Says if UNP MP believes Parliament corrupt, he should cease to be a member

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday denied derogatory remarks made by United National Party (UNP) lawmaker Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, identifying the Parliament as the most corrupt State establishment in Sri Lanka.

Raising a Point of Order, MP Lanza said: “MP Rajapakshe has stated the Parliament is corrupt and the laptops fixed on our tables are nothing but a bribe. This statement is not good for the dignity of the Parliament, its Speaker and the members.”

Speaker Jayasuriya, responding to a question raised by United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) lawmaker Nimal Lanza, seeking the opinion of the Chair about the harmful statement said: “MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe should not be in the Parliament if he holds such opinions about this august assembly. These laptops were a donation by the Chinese Parliament. There were many prior instances the Sri Lanka Parliament received donations by other countries. It is not a bribe. If any MP does not like those laptops, they can refrain from using them. I regret the statement attributed to MP Rajapakshe. If he thinks so then he should not be here.”

The People’s Republic of China donated 225 laptops supporting the digitisation of the Sri Lanka Parliament and these laptops were made available on Chamber tables for each lawmaker with personalised user access since August 2017. According to sources, Parliament’s IT department has submitted a proposal in 2011 as a part of its process to purchase laptops at a cost of Rs. 350 million. With the Government of China donating these computers, Parliament did not incur a cost. Using the personalised access, each member can see his attendance, allowances and salary details along with deductions, the Acts and Bills, Hansards, motions, Annual Reports, and progress reports of State establishments along with details on committees. (AH)

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