Crucial motion on public finance before House today

Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Motion presented by UNP, challenging use of public funds by PM Secy., to be taken up for debate

By Ashwin Hemmathagama , Our Lobby Correspondent

The Motion challenging the use of public funds by the Secretary to the Prime Minister will be taken up for debate in Parliament this morning when the House meets at 10.30am.

The motion, signed by UNP lawmakers Navin Dissanayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Nalaka Prasad Colonne, Dr. Kavinda Heshan Jayawardana, Hector Appuhamy, and Chathura Sandeepa Senaratne, challenges the use of funds by MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is not recognised as the Prime Minister by Parliament, following the statement by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that he does not recognise any Prime Minister, Cabinet or Government. Speaker Jayasuriya made the statement after two votes were taken in the House on a No Confidence Motion on the appointment of MP Rajapaksa as Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena.   

According to the motion, the lawmakers held that the Secretary to the Prime Minister has no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic in the instance that the House on 16 November 2018, accepted the official statement made by the Speaker on 15 November 2018 that, in terms of paragraph 2 of the No-Confidence Motion against the Government adopted on 14 November 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers stood dissolved in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution.

In the motion, the House further resolved that, since 26 October 2018, as contemplated in Article 48 of the Constitution, the House had no confidence in the Government including MP Mahinda Rajapaksa; and whereas Parliament has full control over Public Finance as mandated in Article 148 of the Constitution. 

Accordingly, that the Parliament resolves that from 15 November 2018 the Secretary to the Prime Minister has no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic, and any person taking any action in violation of this Resolution will be dealt with according to law.

The motion was received by Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake on 19 November, to be included in the Order Paper before being taken up for debate. However, it is highly unlikely UPFA lawmakers will be present in the Parliament to counter the motion, which aims to cut funds to their alleged Prime Minister’s Office and use.