Our Lobby Correspondent
Opposition Lawmaker Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday forcefully removed the Parliament Mace from its stand, disrupting the Adjournment Debate on the resolution passed by the United NationsHuman Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva pertaining to Sri Lanka.
Gunawardena who was on feet supporting his colleague Wimal Weerawansa to be allowed to join the debate said: “Regardless of the political party, the Ministerwho spoke before represents the Government. Wimal Weerawansa is from the Opposition and he should be allowed to speak next.”
Disregarding the explanation of Chairman MujiburRahuman, Gunawardena continued to disrupt the proceedings, which eventually led to him forcibly removing the Mace from its stand.
Opposition lawmakers Jayantha Samaraweera, PiyalNishantha, Udaya Gammanpila, SriyaniWijeyawickrema, C.B. Rathnayake, RohithaAbeygunawardena, SisiraJayakodi, and Indika Anuruddha were also seen in the main isle supporting Gunawardena.
“Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe addressed the House and used the time allocated for the UPFA. Next on the list is Minister Swaminathan. I can’t just skip the list. I follow the list provided. You need to take thisup at the Party Leaders’meeting if you are represented in the Party Leaders’ meeting. MP Weerawansa’s name is found last in the UPFA list,” explained MP Rahuman, who suspended the House for 10 minutes, allowing Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms NarendraFenando to recover the Mace from Gunawardena.
Joining the heated arguments, Minister of Foreign Affairs Managala Samaraweera supporting the Chairman’s decision said: “The Chair has asked Minister Swaminathan to speak and you can’tchallenge the Chair. The Chair is unable to provide time to speak unless your name is not on the list.”
With the House recommencing the debate after 10 minutes, Gunawardena apologised to the House for his unruly behaviour.