Sri Lanka’s parliament today announced that the parliamentary debate on the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquiry into Serious Acts of Fraud Corruption and Abuse of Power (PRECIFAC) and bond commission reports will be conducted on February 6 at 10.30am.
The announcement was made following a meeting of the party leaders held under the patronage of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today at noon and consultation with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala representatives of the political parties Minister of Higher Education & Highways Lakshman Kiriella. Minister of Ports & Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe, Leader of Joint opposition parliamentary group Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena, Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake and JVP Information secretary Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath were present. MP A. Sumanthiran represented TNA.
Several officers from election commission, including Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, and other members of the commission, including president’s counsel Nalin Jayantha Abeysekara, Prof. Samuel Ratnajeevan Hoole and additional election commissioner MMM Mohamed were also present at the meeting on a special invitation of the speaker.
The main focus of the meeting was on the call made by the Prime Minister to convene Parliament on February 08 and the problems that could arise as a result.
During the meeting the representative from the Commission of Elections pointed out that several administrative and practical issues will arise should the debate on the reports be held on February 8, as it is a mere two days before the Local Government election.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya appreciating the measures taken by the Election Commission including the chairman to conduct a free and fair election pointed out that a decision should be made so as not to obstruct the successful election process and therefore need to conduct the debate earlier than February 8 if possible.
The majority of those who participated in the party leaders’ meeting also endorsed the Speaker’s view. Accordingly the party leaders made a request from the Speaker to conduct the debate on February 5 or 6, to prevent such problems from arising. Subsequently, the Speaker consulted the Prime Minister regarding the matter, and the Premier has agreed to convene the parliament on February 06. Accordingly, the Prime Minister requested the Speaker to officially call Parliament under the Standing Orders 14.