The Office of the Speaker has expressed concern over the arrest of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka, asserting that the arrest had violated Parliamentary traditions and privileges followed when arresting an MP.
The Speaker affirmed that he must be notified before a Parliamentarian could be arrested and that he was not duly notified prior to the arrest of MP Ranawaka.
In a statement, the Speakers Office noted that former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had set precedent on similar situations in the past where an arrest of a Parliamentarian had breached Parliamentary norms and traditions.
The statement notes that former Speaker Rajapaksa’s rulings have been recorded in the hansards of 2015.03.03 – 232/12 and 2015.04.21 – 234/6.
The Speaker pointed out that the current Government, while in the Opposition during the past four years had vehemently defended these Parliamentary traditions and that it is disappointing to see them turning a blind eye to such rules being broken now that they are in power.