Thilanga Sumathipala Deputy Speaker, Lakshman Kiriella Leader of the House, Gayantha Karunatileka Chief Government Whip
TNA lawmaker Selvam Adaikalanathan Deputy Chairman of Committees
By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent
The inaugural meeting of the 8th Parliament commenced yesterday morning in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the members-elect and foreign and local dignitaries who filled the public gallery.
Secretary-General of Parliament, Dammika Dasanayake, reading the proclamations issued by President Maithripala Sirisena, summoned the meeting and proceeded immediately to the election of the Speaker. UNP member-elect Karu Jayasuriya was proposed by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, was seconded by UPFA member-elect Nimal Siripala De Silva for the office of the Speaker of the 8th Parliament and was selected unanimously.
Thereupon, MP Jayasuriya was escorted to the Chair by the proposer and the seconder. Speaker Jayasuriya took the Chair and made the affirmation required by law and signed the Members’ Roll at the table. Moving on with the ceremony, all other members-elect present in the Chamber made their affirmation or took their oath and signed the Members’ Roll at the table followed by the congratulatory speeches made by the leaders of political parties.
UPFA Member of Parliament Thilanga Sumathipala was proposed for the office of the Deputy Speaker of the new Parliament by MP Nimal Siripala De Silva and seconded by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) MP Rauf Hakeem. TNA lawmaker Selvam Adaikalanathan was proposed and seconded for the office of the Deputy Chairman of Committees.
The Speaker announced to the House that UNP MP Laxman Kiriella, MP Gayantha Karunatileka will continue in their position as the Leader of the House of Parliament and the Chief Government Whip respectively. The assembly was then suspended until President Maithripala Sirisena presented the Statement of Government Policy.
House resumed with the arrival of President Maithripala Sirisena who addressed the newly-elected lawmakers outlining the plans which were mentioned in his political manifesto presented before the last Presidential Election. The Leader of the House of Parliament MP Kiriella moved the Adjournment Motion to the effect that the Parliament should sit at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, 3 September 2015.