By Chandani Kirinde
As exclusively reported by Daily FT yesterday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa prorogued Parliament last night and fixed 3 January 2020 for the start of the new session of the Legislature.
The session of Parliament will commence at 10 a.m., the Gazette notification giving notice of the prorogation said.
The President prorogued Parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution and he is empowered to make a Statement of Government Policy at the commencement of each Session of Parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament.
President Rajapaksa will declare open the new session of Parliament on 3 January 2020 and deliver the policy statement of his Government.
Parliament committees will cease to function during the prorogation and all of them will have to be reconstituted at the commencement of the new Session of Parliament except the Committee on High Posts, Sectoral Oversight Committees and Select Committees.
Matters pending before the House can be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new Session while all items of Business which were in the Order Paper of Parliament will need to be relisted, if it is desired to continue with them.
President Rajapaksa is heading a minority Government with the UPFA which has 95 MPs. The UNP has 106 MP, ITAK has 16 MPs, JVP 6 MPs, and the EPDP and SLMC one MP each in the 225 legislatures.