UNP gives notice of motion of no confidence in Speaker

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 July 2000, 16:18 GMT]
The main Opposition party of the Sri Lankan parliament, United National Party (UNP) has given notice of a no confidence motion against the speaker of the House, K.B.Ratnayake, Friday. The UNP sent a letter to the parliament secretary with the signature of 41 MPs, claiming that the speaker has "failed to uphold the Traditions, Precedents, Practices, conventions and Standing Orders of the House."

The letter sent by the UNP parliamentarians follows:-

We the under signed Members of Parliament do hereby give notice of the following motion of no confidence on Mr. Speaker.

Please take action to have the same entered in the Order Book of Parliament and thereafter listed for debate without delay.

"Whereas Standing Order 124 of the Standing Orders of Parliament has contributed a Committee of Parliament known and referred to as the Committee on Parliamentary Business with the Mr. Speaker as its Chairman.

And whereas the said committee is charged with, among other things, the arranging of Parliamentary Business and more particularly the times that should be allocated for the discussion of the several items of business and matters connected thereto.

And whereas the said Committee met 11.30AM on 6th July 2000 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Speaker and decided among other things that:-

*Parliament do adjourn at 5.30 PM on 6th July 2000 instead of 6.30PM as earlier decided in view of the prevailing security situation.

*The Hon. Deputy Minister of Defence would commence the concluding speech of the debate on the extension of the emergency at 4.45PM.

*The last speaker for the Opposition would commence his speech at 4.30PM.

*In view of the loss of time due to the suspension of sittings in the course of the morning the list speakers already submitted will be scaled down.

And whereas it has been the practice hitherto that both the Government and the Opposition informs Mr. Speaker in writing and in advance of the names of speakers in any particular debate from on each of the House, and the said practice was followed by the Opposition by submitting its list of speakers to respect of the Debate on the Extension of the Emergency on 6th July 2000, in writing and in advance.

And whereas Mr. Speaker permitted the Hon. Ronnie de Mel, MP, a member of the United National Party and of the Opposition to participate the Debate on the Extension of the Emergency on 6th of July 2000, notwithstanding the fact that his name was not on the list of Opposition speakers.

And whereas immediately thereafter Mr. Speaker called upon the Hon. Deputy Minister of Defence instead calling upon a speaker whose name appeared on the list of Opposition speakers to conclude on behalf of the Opposition.

And whereas the Speaker has by his said actions failed to uphold the Traditions, Precedents, Practices, conventions and Standing Orders of the House.

And whereas in the past too Mr. Speaker has consistently failed to act independently and impartially and discharge to his duties diligently and efficiently and failed to act in conformity with the conventions associated with the high office of the Speaker of Parliament.

This house resolves that it no longer has confidence in the ability of the Hon. Kiri Banda Ratnayake to continue as the Speaker of this honourable House.


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