JO holds mock sitting in Parliament after adjournment

Saturday, 29 July 2017 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Going against Parliament tradition and Standing Orders, the UPFA Joint Opposition (JO) group yesterday conducted a mock sitting soon after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya adjourned the House to defuse the tense situation.

Almost 15 minutes after the mace was taken out from the Chamber and the Speaker as well as the panel of Secretaries had left, the remaining members of the JO summoned journalists to the press gallery by ringing the quorum bell.  

UPFA JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage addressed the journalists from the Chamber floor inviting them to take position to witness the resuming of Parliament. However, the Parliament which was adjourned till Friday, 4 August, did not resume.

However, JO MP Prasanna Ranatunga was seen seated on the Parliamentary seat reserved for the President, which is next to the Prime Minister’s seat. About 20 JO MPs, several JVP MPs, and a few UNP backbenchers were seen in the chamber. JO MP Ranjith de Zoysa said aloud that they would have to appoint a new Speaker to resume the sittings. He proposed the name of UPFA MP Priyankara Jayaratne for the post and JO MP Prasanna Ranaweera seconded it. Jayaratne was escorted to the Speaker’s chair by MPs Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Rohitha Abeygunawardena while the other JO MPs cheered.

With Jayaratne in the Speaker’s Chair, Ranaweera made a speech criticising the Government and the Speaker. After a while Jayaratne came down to his seat and other JO MPs mocked that the sightings were abruptly suspended. The JO MPs then left the Chamber yelling sarcastic remarks and slogans against the Speaker. However, the JVP MPs who were present in the Chamber did not take part in the mayhem. (AH).


P’ment approves fuel, gas as essential services

A resolution under the Essential Public Services Act declaring the supply and distribution of fuel, including all petroleum products and gas, an essential service received Parliament approval shortly before the House was adjourned early due to disruptions.

Accusing the Government for alleged use of thugs to attack trade union activists at the Kolonnawa oil terminal recently, the UPFA Joint Opposition members moved to the aisle of the Parliament, disregarding Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s attempts to bring the House to order. The Members heavily protested, trying to disrupt the House without leaving room for the Government to pass the resolution. However, the Government rushed the resolution. According to the proclamation passed yesterday, supply or distribution of fuel, including petroleum products and gas, and all services, work, labour of any description whatsoever, necessary or required to be done in connection with the discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of oil or fuel from vessels within any port as defined for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance was declared an essential service where trade union intervention and disruption will no longer be allowed.

The Parliament was, thereafter adjourned at 5pm until 10.30am on Friday 28 July 2017. (AH)