Parliament adjourned after 19th Amendment second reading – debate to commence
Parliament has been adjourned to Tuesday April 21 following the second reading of the bill on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on Monday morning.
Our Parliament correspondent noted that the debate on the 19th Amendment Bill, will commence on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a tense situation arose in Parliament on Monday morning when a group of opposition MPs voiced protest.
Our Parliament Correspondent noted that tensions flared shortly after media reports regarding the former president and former defence secretary being summoned to Bribery Commission were brought to the attention of the Chair.
Several opposition and government MPs had made arguments for and against the summoning of the former president to the Bribery Commission.
Several Opposition MPs contended that the former president, cannot be summoned to the Bribery Commission, constitutionally. The Prime Minister and the Speaker were called upon to intervene to stop the former president being summoned.
A deputy minister however noted that since the government has pledged to ensure the independence of these commissions, there will be no political interference. Tensions flared thereafter.
The government had agreed to grant a two day debate on the matter. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out to the house that only MPs privileges can be brought up in Parliament and noted that neither the former president or the former defence secretary are members of parliament. The Speaker noted that attention would be drawn to the matter.
Several opposition MPs had then entered the well of parliament. The Speaker adjourned the house and informed the Sergeant-at-Arms to take the mace out of the chamber.