- Speaker chairs meeting with Acting IGP and Def. Ministry officials
- Lawmakers request Speaker to ensure that MPs' arrests are done in manner to ensure their dignity and honour
- State Minister for Defence also attends
- MPs call for proper mechanism to be laid down for arrest of MPs
By Chandani Kirinde
Government and Opposition MPs last week made a joint request to the Police and Defence Ministry to ensure that when parliamentarians are taken into custody, the law enforcement authorities do so in a manner so that the honour and dignity of elected representatives are upheld.
The MPs made the request when they met with Police Acting Inspector General C.D. Wickremaratne, Ministry officials, including Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne and Ministry officials and other senior Police officers at a meeting chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in Parliament.
The MPs jointly informed the Police and the Defence Ministry that if a member of any political party had committed an offense, the MP should be arrested using the due process while there was a request from some MPs for a proper mechanism should be put in place and the Police officers be issued a proper guidance in this regard.
Among those present at the meeting were State Minister of Defence Chamal Rajapaksa, Ministers and State Ministers as well as Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The MPs highlighted that the arrest of a MP should be done in a manner that does not damage the dignity of the MP as well as the dignity of the Police officer making the arrest.
It was further highlighted that MPs have complained regarding this concern in Parliament on several occasions and even though the Speaker is duly informed of the execution of the arrest, the proper process of arrest has never been carried out.
The MPs pointed out that a Member of Parliament can also be summoned to the Police prior to an arrest.
It was a decided that the Speaker will discuss with the relevant authorities take the necessary action regarding the matter.