By Saman Indrajith
The Chair force-stopped Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, during his speech due to a digression, in Parliament yesterday.
Opposition Leader Premadasa availing himself of the provisions under the Standing Orders 27/2 was making a special statement when Minister Wimal Weerawansa raised a point of order to bring the attention of the House that the former was exceeding his limits.
Minister Weerawansa noted that the Opposition Leader Premadasa had no provisions for speaking under Standing Orders 27/2. A written document on the topic and issues the latter was to speak on had been submitted, but he was speaking on other issues in contravention of parliamentary procedures, the Minister pointed out.
Opposition Leader Premadasa in his speech said that there was a talk in society that the government had ousted many who had been given appointments during the UNP regime and commenced a political witch-hunt. “After our government was formed in 2015, we never resorted to such things. Hence I inquire whether the government intends to reinstate these employees and when.” He asked if the government intended to grant 100,000 jobs in January by ousting those who had been given employment by the previous administrationi.
However, the government members objected to the Opposition Leader, saying that it could not be taken up for debate and only the written document could be read out.
Even after the objections Opposition Leader Premadasa continued his speech and Chief Government Whip Minister Johnston Fernando said that permitting Premadasa to continue was in violation of Standing Orders. The Minister pointed to the Standing Order 27/4 brought to the notice of the chair that Premadasa should not be allowed to continue.
The presiding member at the chair Deputy Chairman of Committees, TNA MP Selvam Adaikkilanathan ruled that the Opposition leader should discontinue his speech.