Speaker to appoint committee to probe clash in Parliament

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today announced that a seven-member committee will be appointed to investigate a clash which occurred in Parliament yesterday.

The Speaker expressed regret over the behaviour of some MPs at the time and said that appropriate action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.

The Speaker said the committee will conduct a complete investigation into the incident and based on the report the future course of action will be decided.

The Speaker made the announcement, after the ruling party today called on him to probe a few incidents that had been reported within the Parliament yesterday.

Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the Speaker that one incident was that of Badulla District MP Tissakutti Arachchi being assaulted near the entrance of Parliament.

Raising a point of order, he informed Parliament today that the MP had been assaulted in the presence of Parliament Police officials.

The Minister requested Parliamentarians to refrain from bringing down Parliament proceedings to such a critical situation.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the second instance is that of certain documents that contain questionable content being seized by the Parliament Police.

He said the Police have informed that the documents are against the law and are not permitted within the Parliament.

The Leader of the House pointed out that as per Parliament law, documents containing malicious statements that obstruct the activities of the Government, Parliamentarians and Ministers are not permitted within the Parliament chamber.

He said if such documents have been brought into Parliament, it is a dangerous situation.

Minister Gunawardena therefore called on the Speaker to immediately launch probes into the two incidents.

Responding to the Minister, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said the Parliament does not have the power to investigate documents brought into the chamber.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa also called on the Speaker to investigate the incident of MPs live streaming prohibited Parliament proceedings via social media.

Minister Rajapaksa said that the media is not permitted to broadcast tense situations within the chamber, but certain MPs had broadcasted the incident via social media.

Stating that this was against Parliament proceedings, Minister Namal Rajapaksa called on the Speaker to launch an investigation into the matter.

Responding to the Parliamentarians, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced that a probe will be launched into the incidents. (Colombo Gazette)

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