Comedy of errors
Posted on November 18th, 2018

N.P.KARUNADASA SLAS (Retired), Kandy Courtesy The Island

The comedy that is being unfolded in the political arena in the country, especially within the precincts of the so-called august assembly, to say the least, is most disgusting, sickening and nauseating. The manner in which motions are put to vote in the House, for instance, is unprecedented, resulting in utter chaos. For example a certain member of parliament handed over a motion to the Speaker expressing no confidence in the newly formed government and the new prime minister sworn in by the President, and the Speaker put it to vote in an inordinate haste, without even making the members of parliament aware of the contents of the motion, which led to ugly commotions in the House.

Earlier, when a no-confidence motion (or any motion for that matter was submitted to the Speaker there was a certain procedure which was followed by the Speaker, which, I believe, included fixing a date for a debate on the motion and accordingly entering it in the Order Paper of the House. That provided an opportunity for the accused party to place its case before the House. I believe that such a procedure, besides being adherence to standing orders is the observance of a basic tenet in natural justice.

Needless to say that the series of incidents that followed has made us a laughing stock before the eyes of the entire civilized world.

All these uncalled for and unwarranted incidents commenced with the misunderstanding of the ruling given by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the gazette notification dissolving parliament. Most of the politicos do not seem to understand the fact that the SC is yet to deliver the final judgment on the matter. They (the politicos) started celebrating, claiming that the SC has delivered judgment in their favour. This misplaced euphoria pervaded the parliament too, laying bare the educational standards and upbringing of our worthy ‘law makers’ as never before.

In my opinion, the SC has merely suspended the gazette notification in question, pending deliberations which are fixed for the first week of December, following which the final judgment shall be delivered.

After taking the aforementioned matters into consideration in hindsight, I am of the humble opinion that this ugly situation could have been avoided if a provision was included in the SC ruling, suspending the convening of parliament until the final judgment on the matter is delivered.

The best possible way out of the present impasse, in my opinion, is a general election. In the event a general election comes round the corner, I invite all my fellow citizens to look beyond petty party affiliations and elect decent men and women to Parliament, rejecting the knife wielding ruffians and other undesirable characters.


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