Speaker to entertain request to reconvene parliament
[TamilNet, Monday, 10 November 2003, 08:30 GMT]
The Speaker of the Parliament, Mr.Joseph Michael Perera, Monday requested the leaders of the political parties who had attended a meeting in his chamber to submit a written request to reconvene the parliament before Tuesday. The main opposition Peoples Alliance (PA) and the Sinhala nationalist -Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) boycotted the party leaders meeting convened by the Speaker stating it was illegal, parliamentary sources said.
Discussion was held at the meeting in regard to the constitutional requirements whether the Speaker had been empowered to reconvene parliament when the President had prorogued under the existing constitution of the country. Several parliamentarians said the Speaker has power to do so. The Speaker said that he had not received any official intimation about reconvening the parliament. Therefore he could act according to powers vested with him under the constitution. Hence party leaders present decided to make a written request to the Speaker to reconvene parliament with signatures of required parliamentarians after obtaining advice from constitutional experts, parliamentary sources said.
On behalf of the United National Party Ministers Messrs Karu Jayasuriya, W.M.J.Lokubandara, Mahinda Samarasinghe, A.H.M.Aswer and M.H.Mohamed attended the party leaders conference, parliamentary sources said.
Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan, the leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress Mr.A.Vinayagamoorthy, the leader of the Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam Mr.T.Siddharthan, the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress Mr.Arumugam Thondaman, the leader of the Upcountry Peoples Front Mr.P.Chandrasekaram and the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Mr.Rauff Hakim also participated.
The PA and JVP Sunday night decided to boycott the party leaders meeting as they meant that the Speaker had no authority to convene the party leaders meeting during the prorogation of parliament is in force, the leader of the opposition Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse said
The PA leaders Sunday night met at the Presidential secretarial last night with Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge in the chair and decided to boycott the party leaders meeting, sources said