Nakkawita and Lakshmi de Silva
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa
was sworn in as an MPin Parliament yesterday.
All the ruling party members
congratulated him and sat with the backbenchers.
However, the UNP responded to his
swearing in with a protest. Some UNP MPs carried placards.
Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara suspended
sittings of Parliament for 10 minutes to bring the situation
Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj
Fernandopulle said that such an ugly incident had never occurred
in the history of the Sri Lanka Parliament when a new member was
Please be silent!
Our silence will amount to condoning what they are doing. (He
continued speaking amidst interruption from the Opposition).
Government members Mervin Silva,
Mahindananda Aluthgamage and others crossed the well of the
House, snatched the posters and tore them.
When the sittings resumed after 10
minutes, Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara said the incidents had
taken place at a very solemn occasion of a memberís swearing in
were regrettable. All members were aware that a new memberís
swearing in was an important event and he expected the occasion
to be conducted solemnly. He said he had not expected the House
to go down to such a low level. It had become so bad that a
member had had the temerity to snatch the order paper from his
Chief Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle:
You did not take action against the member at that time. And you
did not stop the members from ridiculing a solemn occasion. You
remained silent. In what Parliament will a Speaker remain silent
over such incidents. What action have you taken against member
Mahinda Ratnatilake, who snatched the order paper from you on
the day the Finance Bills were presented? (More shouting from
Honourable Mervin Silva please be silent. Otherwise I will have
to name you.
How can you name him when you did not take action against
Mahinda Ratnatilake, who came up to your table and snatched the
order paper from your hand.
Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael
Perera said the UNP members had held papers as they wanted them
to be photographed.