Lankan Govt rejects No Trust Vote against Rajapaksa saying proceedings violated rules
Posted on November 16th, 2018

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the motion was not passed as per the understanding that the opposition leaders had arrived at in their meeting with the President.

The President had said that he will abide by the result of the No Trust Vote if the set procedures and the Standing Orders were followed and a vote by counting of hands was taken.

Lankan Govt rejects No Trust Vote against Rajapaksa saying proceedings violated rules

But what happened in the House on Friday was a replay of Wednesday’s rumbustious scene. There was commotion and chaos, and in the midst of the commotion and din, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya accepted a revised No Confidence Motion signed by 112 MPs from fthe JVP and then called for a voice vote and declared that motion was passed”. He then promptly adjourned parliament till November 19.

Prior to this, the Speaker had walked in police escort , which according to government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, is very unusual.

The government immediately confronted the Speaker to ask why men with knives had come into the House and wanted them to be arrested before the business for the day is taken up.

The rioting United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) members demanded the arrest of two legislators of the Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). They charged that two UNP legislators, Palitha Thewarapperuma and Ranjan Ramanayake were carrying knives during the brawl which took place.

Yesterday, UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama was injured in clashes inside the chamber.

Police protected Jayasuriya from the rioting MPs as he called the Tamil National Alliance MP. M.A. Sumanthiran to propose the suspension of the Standing Orders.

The Speaker summoned police inside Parliament chamber after 45 minutes of disruption. One of the rioting MPs Arundika Fernando occupied the seat of the Speaker with many MPs surrounding it. Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, a senior parliamentarian, was injured in the melee.

On the basis of a voice vote Speaker Jayasuriya announced that the motion against Rajapaksa was accepted because  physical voting by show of hands could not take place due to the brawl.

When the rioting government MPs threw books at the police, Jayasuriya immediately suspended the sittings until November 19 and left the House surrounded by police.

Government spokesman Rambukwella that the No Trust Motion passed under such circumstance cannot be accepted.

Political observers said that under these circumstances mediation is called for because parliament has to pass a Vote on Account to enable the government to pay their salaries from January 2019.

With both sides sticking to their respective stands, parliament will not be able to function.

The opposition insists that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has no right to continue, given the fact that he had been defeated” twice in a No Trust Vote. But the government keeps saying that the votes were not taken as per the set procedure.

The procedure is notice has to be given and a debate has to be held before voting is called. In the presnt case none of this  was done though the opposition had said that the Standing Orders will be adhered to.

The next course of action was discussed later on Friday between  President Sirisena and the MPs of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)  led by Prime Minister Rajapaksa.

(The image at the top is that of Sri Lankan government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella)  

2 Responses to “Lankan Govt rejects No Trust Vote against Rajapaksa saying proceedings violated rules”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    This situation has arisen largely due to the highly biased and unfair actions of the Speaker. Since Jan 2015 the speaker has consistently taken the side of the UNP. A good speaker should be:
    1.0 Above all things be impartial. The speaker has always been partial to the UNP.
    2.0 Follow standing orders of the parliament in executing his duties. Several important bills were passed without even a proper count of the votes being taken. Ranil tried to or has installed electronic voting which can be subjected to manipulation with ease.
    3.0 For almost 4 years the speaker has largely taken his orders from Ranil. He ignored the large body of UPFA members who were not with the unity Govt and appointed TNA as the leader of the opposition which was a joke since they voted as Ranil wanted. These were largely dictated by the West. I wonder what has now changed.
    4.0 The speaker must understand the constitution and obey the President and the constitution at all times. The President has only requested the speaker to follow the normal parliamentary rules in passing a no-confidence motion. He is using the same tricks he used earlier to pass various bills that the UNP wanted to pass.
    5.0 He has lost all credibility as the speaker of the house. In view, without stooping so low he should have resigned and then lived with at least some shreds of dignity remaining.
    6.0 The only thing he can do if he wants to be true to the country is to resign. If he wants to be loyal to the UNP he should find another job he can do in the UNP. If he remains he will only make matters worse for the country.

  2. Cerberus Says:

    Correction: Para 3.0 instead of UPFA members read as the Joint Opposition.

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