Oct 19, 2020

SJB calls for PCR tests on all MPs

Chief Opposition Whip MP Lakshman Kiriella has called on the Speaker of Parliament to postpone the proposed debate on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which is scheduled to take place this week.

In a letter to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana MP Kiriella said Parliament sittings cannot be held under regulations of the recently issued gazette notification, that cites social distancing as mandatory.

The Chief Opposition Whip claimed that the seating arrangement in Parliament is contradictory to the regulations that have been gazetted, adding that at a time that Parliament meetings have been restricted, conducting Parliament sittings is a violation of the regulations.

The letter questions the Speaker of the example Parliament, the lawmaker, is setting by violating regulations.

PCR tests on all MPsMeanwhile,  Sri Lanka’s main opposition - the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane today to conduct PCR tests on all MPs prior to this week’s debate on the draft bill of the 20th amendment. 

SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara accused the government of breaking its own, now gazetted, quarantine regulations in its hurry to pass the proposed amendment.

The debate on the draft bill of the 20th Amendment is due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday with sittings due to commence at 10am and conclude at 7.30pm.

This week's COPE, COPA sessions postponedMeanwhile, all sessions of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) scheduled for this week have been postponed.

The Parliament Department of Communications said the decision was reached owing to the present Covid-19 situation in the country.