Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abyewardena (left) is seen engaged at a provincial level meeting
SJB Chief Organiser for Weligama Rehan Jayawickreme yesterday alleged that Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abyewardena is biased and engaged in political activity unbecoming of his position.
Jayawickreme, who is former Chairman Weligama UC and Working Committee Member Vice Chairman and SJB Youth Assistant Secretary, SJB National Reforms Secretariat, said the Speaker of Parliament is an extremely important facet of our Parliamentary system of Government.
“As per our laws and constitution, the Speaker of Parliament is only below the President and Prime Minister in terms of his importance within the Governance structure. The holder of the position of Speaker of Parliament must necessarily be politically neutral and traditionally, free from such influence. The Speaker must be an unbiased actor Karu Jayasuriya not only refrained from attending political events throughout his tenure but also made it a point not to step into Sirikotha which is the UNP HQ,” he said.
According to him, even though the former Speaker was nominated by his Party, he never held any other position other than the one he was entrusted to carry out by cross party Legislators.
Instead the current Speaker of Parliament is currently functioning as the Chief Organiser of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP Pohotuwa) for Weligama.
“This is a major violation of protocol as well as traditions. Furthermore, the current Speaker is also the Chairman of the Weligama Provincial Development Committee, which is usually selected by the Government. Please note the photographs which show his presence in the Weligama,” Jayawickreme added.
He said Divisional Secretariat office where Speaker’s name is also displayed during a meeting.
He also functions as the Chairman of the Welipitiya development Committee, photos of a recent meeting are included.
“MP’s have a duty-bound responsibility to ensure that the Office of Speaker continues to be an unbiased institution that is beyond reproach. This is key to our system of governance within the legislature. I would like to urge the Government and the Opposition to immediately impeach the present Speaker and select a new candidate that is free from political biases,” Jayawickreme opined.
“The recent behaviour of the Speaker within Parliament during sessions raise further concerns regarding his suitability for the role. Lawmakers must act urgently to uphold the dignity and integrity of the Office of the Speaker of Parliament and Parliament itself,” Jayawickreme added.