Jan 04, 2020

8th parliament records 03 opp. leaders

Sri Lanka’s eighth Parliament went down in the history yesterday by becoming the first to have appointed three leaders of opposition throughout its term.

This came into being when Speaker announced that he had accepted Sajith Premadasa as the new Leader of Opposition.

First Leader of Opposition during the term of the current Parliament was R. Sampanthan while Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed to the post in 2018. Mr Premadasa was the third to be appointed to the post.

At the same time Sri Lanka has had four leaders of opposition since 2015. Accordingly, Nimal Siripala de Silva was appointed to the post in January 2015 followed by Mr Sampathan, Mr Rajapaksa and Mr Premadasa. Mr De Silva who was appointed to the post continued till August 2015 when the House was dissolved while Mr Sampanthan, Mr Rajapaksa and Mr Premadasa came to the post during the term of the present Parliament after August 15 general elections.

Opposition Leader’s post changed during the term of Parliament which was elected in 1977 and continued till 1988. Accordingly, Late Ms. Sirimavo Bandaranaike who was appointed as Leader of Opposition was replaced with Anura Bandaranaike after she was stripped of her civic rights in 1980.

The post changed in 2001 when Ratnasiri Wickramanayake who was initially appointed to the post was replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa later.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister was also a notable feature as he was sitting as an MP without any post for the first time in its 43 year tenure in Parliament yesterday. Mr Wickremesinghe who was elected to Parliament in 1977 became a junior Minister in that year and later became Prime Minister and also held the post of Leader of the house and Leader of Opposition from time to time.

(Daily Mirror)