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Samagi Jana Balawegaya severely criticises Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara alias “Choka Malli” who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election to take oaths

By Asiri Fernando

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday severely criticised Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara, who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election, to take oaths despite strong objections by Opposition members.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara, alias ‘Choka Malli’, and two others were found guilty of shooting one person to death and critically injuring two others during the 2015 Presidential Election campaign. They were sentenced to death by the Ratnapura High Court in the lead-up to the August General Election. Opposition members objected to the move, and wore black scarves or “sataka” to show their displeasure. The Opposition members also staged a walk-out in protest after Jayasekara took oaths.

“Today was a most unfortunate day for parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka. The Speaker, in spite of strong objections by us, allowed a convicted murderer to take oaths as a Member of Parliament,” Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said at a press conference held last evening. He was joined by SJB Parliamentarian Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.