Friday, March 9, 2018

JO wants Bill presented in Parliament again

Joint Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane said yesterday the passing of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill was not valid and requested the Speaker to present it to Parliament again.

He told parliament that Foreign Affairs Minister Thilak Marapana
assured the House when the Bill was presented in parliament that the debate on the Bill would be held the following day as well but the government took up the voting for the Bill without keeping its word.

"It is a sad scenario to get a Bill passed in parliament in that manner when new Standing Orders had also been passed in parliament. The minister promised us that the debate on the Bill would be held for two days and introduce an amendment to it within that period," he said.

He said the amendment brought in to the Bill during the committee stage had not been given to the MPs and that it was a violation of SOs and parliament tradition.

He also said the amendment had not been given in Tamil which was necessary according to SOs and added that a debate on the Bond Commission report was adjourned due to non-availability of the Tamil translation.

He said when the subject minister, speaker and the Parliament Secretary General admitted the non-availability of the Tamil translation of the amendment, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who came in a hurry, withdrew the amendment presented by the subject minister.

He said that during the arguments over the matter, the Speaker took a voting for the Bill in violation of the standing orders and added that the voting was not valid.

He said several JO MPs did not get a chance to speak during the debate and requested the speaker to present the Bill again in parliament to make it valid.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed parliament that he would discuss the matter at the party leaders meeting held yesterday. (Ajith Siriwardana)



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