First sitting of 9th Parliament begins

The first sitting of the 9th Parliament of Sri Lanka commenced at 9.30 am this morning (20) in accordance with Standing Order No. 1 of Parliament.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was selected as the new Speaker of Parliament.

He was nominated to the position by the Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena while MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara seconded the proposal.

Representatives of political parties including PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, Samagi Jaba Balawegaya (SJB) leader Sajith Premadasa, Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and other members of Parliament, welcoming the new Speaker, added their wishes to him.

All the new Members of Parliament (MPs) later took their official oaths before the new Speaker.

The Leader of the House, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Chief Government Whip meanwhile assumed duties in their respective positions.

This was followed by the appointment of a Deputy Speaker and a Deputy Chairperson of Committees.

Thereby, MP Ranjith Siyambalapititya was unanimously appointed as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament while MP Angajan Ramanathan was selected as the Deputy Chairman of Committees.

The new Speaker of Parliament subsequently announced that he recognizes the Leader of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) as the Leader of the Opposition.

The parliamentary proceedings were then temporarily suspended until 3.00 pm today (20).

After ceremoniously declaring open the inaugural session of the 9th Parliament, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will present the Government’s Policy Statement to the House, as provided by Article 33(2) of the Constitution.