Incumbent and former education ministers make uneducated exchanges

By Saman Indrajith

Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday warned former and incumbent education ministers not to behave like children in Parliament.

He gave this warning following former education minister Bandula Guanwardena and incumbent education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam locking horns during a debate on a fraud that is alleged to have taken place during the tenure of Gunawardena.

A tensed situation prevailed following MP Gunawardena challenging his successor to prove that there was a fraud.

Education Minister Kariyawasam said there had been a fraud in the education ministry during the previous regime in purchasing 60,000 personal computers.

Former Minister Gunawardena said there had been no such fraud and asked the incumbent minister to hold an investigation without hurling false allegations. MP Gunawardena requested the Minister to behave responsibly in the House.

Education Minister Kariyawasam: It is the former Minister who acts irresponsibly in the House. He is senior to me and should behave seriously. The problem is that he does not do so. I did not level any allegations at him. It was someone above you who committed that fraud.

 Deputy Speaker Weerakkody: Now you are trying to deviate from the subject.

 Microphones of both incumbent and former ministers were switched off but they continued to argue and counter argue hurling abuses at each other and the Deputy Speaker warned them not to behave like children as there were schoolchildren watching them from the public gallery.

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