By Saman Indrajith
Speaker Karu Jaysuriya told Parliament yesterday that the future course of action with regard to the no-faith motion submitted by the Joint Opposition against Foreign Minister would be announced on Thursday.
There were some legal issues pertaining to the motion and its content and the matter had been referred to the Attorney General, the Speaker said in response to queries made by the Opposition.
NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, raising a point of order demanded to know why the government was delaying the taking up of the no-confidence motion. He asked what prevented the government from taking the motion for debate.
Speaker Jayasuriya: I would let you know the reason on Thursday. I have received the motion. It is sub judice as the matter is being investigated in the Presidential Commission, too. I need to consult the Attorney General in this regard.
When the response of the Attorney General is conveyed to me I will decide what can be done with regard to the motion and let you know.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: Is the opposition asking the Foreign Minister to go to the UN office in Colombo with a mat and start a demonstration there? The Speaker will inform the House of his decision. We are doing everything in a transparent manner.
Speaker Jayasuriya: The matter was discussed at the party leaders’ meeting today. The party leaders accepted my position.
UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila: It is wrong to count the content in the motion as sub judice.
The matter being investigated in the Presidential Commission is something else. The motion is a different issue. So, the question of sub judice does not arise here.
Chief Opposition Whip and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissananayke: The motion has not been entered in the Order Book of Parliament. How could the Speaker consult the Attorney General on a matter which has not even entered in the Order Book? The motion as submitted several days ago. By this time it should have been entered in the Order Book. Why is the government not printing it in the Order Book?
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe: I, too, came to know of the motion from newspaper reports. I did not see it.
At this point opposition MPs shouted that the Prime Minister, too, had started emulating President Maithripala Sirisena.
The Speaker said he would wait for the Attorney General’s opinion and let the House know whether the motion could be entered in the Order Book and taken up for debate in the House.