8 August, 2020

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Situation Report: Speaker Faces Mutiny From Parliamentary Staff Siding With Sirisena

Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya is getting flack from democratic minded Sri Lankans all over the country for failing to act to end an ever deepening political crisis caused by President Maithripala Sirisena‘s illegal sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that the third citizen of the nation and head of the country’s legislature is facing a major mutiny by Parliament staff led by Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake.

Jayasuriya

Dassanayake is reportedly leading his staff to openly flout directives from Speaker Jayasuriya constantly using the refrain that he was bound as a public servant “to follow the directives issued by the Presidential Gazette”.

The resistance has also prevented the Speaker from moving to reconvene Parliament in defiance of the President’s illegal prorogation of the House despite mounting calls for him to do so, since SG Dassanayake and the staff have made it abundantly clear they will not cooperate.

On Monday (5) when Dinesh Gunewardena stormed into the Parliament complex with a group of Buddhist monks and decided to “assume office” as Leader of the House highly placed sources Dassanayake opened the doors to the office still legally occupied by Lakshman Kiriella. This was in spite of a specific direction from Speaker Jayasuriya that Gunewardane should not be allowed to do so. When Kiriella called the Speaker later to request him to safeguard the rights and privileges of Parliamentarians, Jayasuriya said he was “powerless” to stop the encroachment and forcible entry. Confidants to the Speaker confirmed that he was unable to rein in the bureaucrats in Parliament because Dassanayake was insisting that he was compelled to follow the Government Gazette and was openly flouting the Speaker’s directives in a bid to please President Sirisena and his newly appointed Prime Minister.

At a meeting of Party Representatives last week SG Dassanayake and his staff attended the meeting last Wednesday only as long as representatives of the illegal Government appointed on 26 October were present to submit a list of decisions made at their ‘cabinet’ meeting held that morning to the Speaker. Once Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dinesh Gunewardena and Nimal Siripala De Silva and Sarath Amunugama handed the memo over and left, Dassanayake and other staff members also walked out of the meeting. Incensed members of Parliament pitched into the Secretary General reminding him that he was an employee of Parliament and did not report to the executive.

Dassanayake has reportedly informed the Speaker that if he chooses to reconvene parliament ahead of the date declared by President Sirisena – which is the wish of over 118 MPs – none of the staff would make necessary arrangements to hold the sittings. In other words staff will refuse to bring in the Mace, record proceedings or conduct any administration work necessary to hold a session.

Meanwhile Sergent at Arms of Parliament Narendra Fernando told the Mawbima newspaper this weekend that officials in Parliament would only abide by the Gazette issued by the President. In a bold statement Fernando also said seating arrangements in Parliament would be made in line with the Gazette notifications – meaning that they would assign the PM’s chair to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Leader of the House seat to Gunewardena etc – and added that “there would be no need to consult the Speaker on such matters.”

The mutiny by Parliament staff has sparked criticism about public officials being party to intentional violations of the constitution and assisting President Sirisena to execute his coup d’etat.

Director Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law Dr Asanga Welikala took to Twitter on Tuesday to point out that the Secretary General of Parliament and the Serjeant at Arms had fundamentally misunderstood the point that their master was Parliament, and not the executive.

‏”Their mulish insistence on the proverbial gazette could be simply bureaucratic cussedness, or even a figleaf for partisanship. But the Speaker and the majority of MPs have made the position of Parliament clear, which is that it should be recalled to determine the legitimate govt. The duty of parliamentary officials is to serve Parliament, not the executive. If not, they become instruments of the destruction of parliamentary democracy. They should remember that that is very serious misconduct,” Dr Welikala said.

Executive Director of Verite Research Dr Nishan De Mel said that #coupLK bureaucrats need more scrutiny. “In facing off #CoupLK the office of the Speaker @KaruOnline has faced intense scrutiny. @HarshadeSilvaMP has fine tuned that focus to the bureacracy: even Speaker might be constrained by responses of Secretary General to #lka Parliament (?) #CoupBureaucrats need more scrutiny,” Dr De Mel tweeted.

UNP State Minister Harsha De Silva slammed Secretary General Dassanayake in a tweet yesterday claiming the bureaucrat had “Welcomed with glee” MP Dinesh Gunewardane to illegally occupy the Office of the Leader of the House. “Merely there to assist Speaker he is abusing power to overrule decision of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to side with #CoupLK and President Sirisena” De Silva tweeted.

Rumours are swirling that Dassanayake had already met with a sibling of Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss non-cooperation with the Speaker of Parliament and arrangements for when Parliament eventually reconvenes.

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Latest comments

  • 50
    106

    Karu is going against Executive president’s order. Every president in the past done this. The president can postponed parliament and with out his approval no body else can change it. Karu knows this very well. What UNP wants is create troubles and violence. This power in the constitution and even it is not fair. The president is the no.1 man in the country.

    • 36
      83

      Yes, good lesson for him acting like as if the executive president of the country. He has no power to overrule the executive president. The good law abiding former gentleman has now become a puppet of UNP & his main objective is to save his son in law’s position in the party nothing else!!! The parliament staff know very well that he will be removed from speaker position sooner rather than later, so they all want to safeguard their jobs by duly following the executive order. Speaker’s one man unconstitutional & authoritative show will come to an end very soon. Even in an private business organisation, if the staff are forced to do something illegal, they have right not to abide by it or follow the lawful orders from the person above their leader.

      • 18
        2

        So tell us what lessions you would recommend most abusive President not to respect the constitution ?

        Just because some groups put the pressure on him, he must not forget the begining right ?

        It is like those who went to round up thieves, are betrayed by the head.

        How would Sirisena manage to see it beyond now ?

        If he says, after consutlting Karu and Sajith he decided to go for with the devil Mahinda, how can he face the investigations already being carried out against Rajakashe:

        How can a man of Sirisena ever to have worked for any kind of long term programs in the country ?

        Now what is becoming clear day to day, is it is the cultural difference between Ranil and Sirisena almost created this situation. Besides, as Pro Rajakshe men louded as louder as they could Sirisena is immatured person not even good enough to let live in a metropole of srilanka.
        Basically, he has no good education.
        No good background fo rlanken politics.
        Now i am in the view any young politicians in the country could lead this nation better than Sirisena does.

      • 4
        5

        Karu who is also a party jumper is creating a big mess.
        Lanka is like Malaysia now, where Mahathir Mohamed who had sacked Anwar Ibrahim and put him in prison on sodomy charges, joined forces with Ibrahim to stop the corruption Najib from looting Malaysia further.. This is what the Sirisena-MR alliance is all about.
        It is time for Bondscam Ranil and his Royal mafia who looted the people and destroyed the highest financial institution on instructions of his foreign handlers –MCC, IMF etc. and planning to asset strip and sell Lanka’s lands, marine resources, energy security and transport infrastructure to India, US, Japan, China, to get out

        • 1
          0

          @ Dodo

          In Malaysia Mahathir Mohamed ( Tamil origin converted to a fake Malay) was responsible for the economic and education destruction of Malaysian Tamils by his racist policy .

          But in the last election he realised 60 MP s will be determined by Malaysian Tamil votes went to Tamils and beged for votes.
          As a changed person who has promised to correct his past mistake
          now making a big changes even prepare to take the special position to Malaysin the cosntitution who enjoyed free bees for 61 years. and making arrangements to sign race related UN Conventions.

          The new generation of Malaysian politicians now talk about Malaysian first not Malay supremacy and work towards a new Malaysia for all races.

          How many Sinhala politicians are ready for such change here ?…not a single one ..these dirts still talk and work only for Sinhala Buddhists .

          Dont worry soon this cursed Buddhist country will be ruled by Chinese who will never talk but their guns will talk.

          Sri Lanka BOLEH.

          Who cares?

          Let us dance for free liquor.
          Jayawewa.

    • 12
      5

      C.
      KARU IS PASSE.
      He appointed minority part member Sampanthan as leader of the opposition adding to the already chaotic Parliament. Parliamentary Debates are very poorly attended and wording of bills surreptitiously changed.
      The President has the prerogative to prorogue parliament; definitely not the speaker.
      Members of Parliament are a very privileged lot enjoying many perks. It is time that their remuneration is prorated to attendance in person at parliamentary sittings.

      • 4
        1

        Prorogation of parliament should be done by president but having constulted the speaker. Tha t should hav ebeen the correct way,

        But as Sirisena reacts, everything could do as he think s is right. No constitutional parliamentary can exist under the misconduct of the kind of Presidents.

        Sirisena is not even good for a regional parliament. Lack of his experrience in making decisions were infact not overlooked.

        He could well be GOOD to please gallery so as Mahinda does.
        Lanken people are like grasseaters. So, wimal weerawanse or the like can have more chances in such societies.

    • 2
      0

      Govt is divided- who created this unexpected situation if not President ?
      Newly built UPFA is divided (not just Manusha Nananayakara but several others are believed to be cross over to Pro-Democracy team)

      Society is divided- why, peoplea re not made aware, as to why the coup was made

      Parliament is divided – not knowing or not having proper knowledge about the consititution.

      They dont know even why 19th Amendement was brought in- WHAT were focused in that.

      But UNPrs get together more than had ever been before to stand against DEMOCRACY and brutal junta rule of UNEDUCATED Sirisena.

      Here the story of the monkey whose genitals were caught while removing the peg of the sawing timber trunk – and got killed is what reminded me in this critical moment of lanken politics.
      Now Impeachment against Sirisena will be a reality.
      His removal is a reality
      New President would be necessary
      Parliament should appoint a President
      No means Rajakashe will be supported by majority

  • 17
    10

    Western Governments particularly the US, can put an end to this nonsense by imposing travel bans on the Rajapakshes. It is alarming how one family can cause so much of a threat to democracy.

  • 3
    1

    All these every thing says, that there should be a people selelcted All executive president. He should be reported to people. the Parliament can balance him IF needed. Other than that, IT is the same JRJ’s constitution that Ranil promised to change but did nt chnge that gives problems. There should be one PResident and not PReisdent and a PM but the president should be answerable to people and the Parliament should qurstion him.

  • 48
    21

    This is the best political fight ever that I can remember. Thanks for the UNF members. Don’t give up you will win. This time I take my hat off to Hakeem & Rishad for thier bravery. United we stand and the country will flourish. Sirisena will loose his SLFP leadership as well. I think the best person for that is Duminda.

  • 18
    3

    What Karu says is : “If I were appointed the PResident, I can do it. signing letters is not that difficult. but, I can not bend when ever and where ever that FIRST STONE IS KEPT. I MAY NEED HELP”.

  • 45
    12

    Even the parliament is the property of the Rajapakses?
    well the whole country is the property ofRajapakse’s

  • 8
    8

    CT can jump up and down and continue to push the false narrative regarding the legality of presidential action. It is the speaker who is attempting to openly flout the law. Speaker is acting like a peon of the former PM Ranil and not as an independent person that his office requires him to conduct. This has been the case since the current parliament commenced in August 2015. It is good to see the law abiding officials in the parliament acting with strong back bones and not like reptiles of majarapalanaya.

    • 2
      7

      Absolutely. However, I still admire CT for publishing my comments without editing or without being bias. There are some other websites like DM, FT (financial paper) who overwhelmingly support UNP/JVP gang & never publish our comments. They only support NGO backers, Diaspora supporters and pro LTTEers which is truly the whole mark of the just finished UNP government. What Speaker doing is an ‘Act of Treason’ in the name of bogus democracy promulgated by those who are supported by western & pro diaspora media. Whether the action of the president is morally right or wrong is a different matter & as per the constitution he has has been given the powers to do as he wishes. That can’t be questioned by a peon type of speaker!!! I believe those who make most comments against Sirisena must have been born after JR/Premadasa era.

  • 7
    5

    Why don’t the Speaker send this matter to the Supreme Court? Then it will be resolved for good. Speaker cannot order the President to do anything. It looks like Speaker is confused and will be replaced soon.

  • 4
    5

    Do not worry Champa wait until MR take the full control of the government. This is Sri Lankan politics. This not new. Even though it looks very terrible. It is better to get rid of some one who try to sell the country

    • 0
      0

      charles
      I doubt it very much. MR has no backbone. Maithri has broken it.
      About selling the country, Maithri could have easily stopped Ranil. But he didn’t for 4 years. Magamapura port was sold with the full support of Maithri and his SLFP faction. They didn’t object.
      If you think this appointment of MR is genuine, you are very much mistaken.
      Maithri did this in the 4th year as the Presidential election is slapping on his face now. It is a totally selfish move.
      What Mahinda and Maithri did was making Ranil popular than ever before.
      People are jubilant over Mahinda’s appointment, but at the same time they say what Maithri did to Ranil is wrong. Our voters take very strange decisions sometimes.
      Take my word, if Mahinda fielded Maithri as his candidate for the next Presidential election believed to be held in January 2019, and if Ranil contested from the other side, Ranil will receive an astounding victory.
      Mahinda’s action has only strengthened Ranil.
      It is the same with the General Election. Ranil’s side will win a clear majority in the Parliament with unprecedented support from all JVP, Tamil, and Muslim parties.
      This is what is called, “haste makes waste.”

  • 6
    0

    Money talks! This applies not only to politicians but also public servants!

  • 5
    5

    So, according to the unhappy UNP butterflies, suddenly the speaker has become more powerful than the head of state, the elected president!

    This is ridiculous nonsense. Take the constitution out in to day light and have a good read you butterflies. Speaker or anyone else can’t go above the presidential orders on any matter, least to do with the legislature.

    So butterflies, accept it is all over. You enjoyed ‘good times’ for three and a half years and the party is over, for the good of the country.

    While the few of you are attempting to suck each other still, the people of the country are rejoicing that the nightmare is over. That is the truth and the reality.

  • 2
    6

    It is now clear. To restore democracy all government employees must be sacked

  • 5
    3

    ” illegal sacking of Prime Minister”, Hello CT, how did you come to this assessment ? Pls. read the SL constitution before you make wild assumptions as facts.
    Constitutional power of president is breathtaking and he has not used all of that so far and hope CT report news but refrain making news.
    Country is in a dire mess due to RW’s incompetent ideas and southern harbour that gave to Chinese for 99 yr lease even though Chinese never ask for it.. Due to this indians want all our strategic harbours including some airports.
    Can any one with iota of intelligence tell me what is RW’s intellect or his value to the country?
    I am not a MR fan but at least he will not valuable national assets to foreigners. Speaker is in another planet and a disgrace to his title and this will make more problems in due course.
    Ranil got in to hot water with Kumaratunga for the same reason and got fired.. Why all these SL idiots support this moron ?
    After the war, it was GR and Mahinda that asked our family’s support for east north rehabilitation and investments which we are happy do minus corruption. To us we do not see them as tamils but poor dispute people that need help.

  • 7
    2

    Serves this shameless man right, for displaying partiality during his tenure as the speaker, the most unsuccessful speaker ever produced anywhere in the world.

  • 2
    1

    Of course Rajesh you will prefer it to be Prabakarans?

  • 6
    4

    Democracy has failed in Sri Lanka!

    What our country needs at this juncture is a patriotic and selfless Dictator caste in a similar mould as Lee Kuan Yew or Mahathir Mohamad.

    Our voting population needs such a dictator to lead them by their noses or else, our country will be doomed forever.

    • 2
      0

      What is wrong with you woman?

      You have one in Mahinda Rajapakse and you are complaining against him and asking a different one of the same mold?

      Is he not ‘fair enough’ or something?

      Clean your brain of colonial mentality. All your ills will be cured then.

      Pity you, brainless so and so.

    • 1
      2

      Sharmini Serasinghe

      “Democracy has failed in Sri Lanka!”

      Its a news to me.
      When did we have democracy in this island of ours?
      Just because we have had periodical elections, mostly rigged or promises of bribes never delivered, Parliament trappings of democracy, an unanswerable unproductive bureaucracy, judiciary, courts with judges wearing funny colonial hats, …………. supposed free media without morality, ……… ……. 225 donkeys who do not know if they are coming or going, ………………….. do you think we are a democratic country.

      “Our voting population needs such a dictator to lead them by their noses or else, our country will be doomed forever.”

      Now Vellupillai Prabaharan is dead and gone, how about Dr Go, Gota?
      He seems benevolent.
      Immediately after the coup he went to see Ranil and didn’t drag him out of the Temple Trees.

      How about all those variety of Generals who claimed to have single handedly won the war, ….. the lonely Field Marshall, ……………. maybe the carpet bomber Wimal Sangili Karuppan Wimal windbag Wansa, Champika whose ancestors discovered ZERO, Gnanasara, ……………….. ?
      Any one of them from the list below:

      Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero
      Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero
      Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thero
      Napana Pemasiri Thero
      Ittapane Dhammalankara Thero
      Thrikunamale Ananda Thero

      Ignore caste issues among the above for the moment.

    • 2
      0

      With people like you being able to write lies lies noend. No wonder the country is going to dogs.
      You remember about democracy only when it suits you,you never spoke about democracy when Ranil Wicramsinghe’s undemocratic rule countinuously deprived the country men of their right to vote.

    • 1
      0

      I’m shocked to read this from you Sharmini S. When things become difficult the simplistic solution of a benevolent dictator is very enticing but has it worked? Anywhere?

  • 3
    5

    Speaker is a bias person he has proved that in the past,remember originally he agreed accepted new arrangements & agreed to offer PM chair to MR. However later-on when he received petition with 116 MP’s
    signature he was compelled to revers his diction which is right according to parliamentary normes,& in line with democracy.

  • 6
    2

    ……..The duty of Parliamentary officials is to serve Parliament,not the Executive……
    Dr. Welikala has expressed a fundamental fact.
    If the Director General does not understand this or refuses to understand,he needs to be sacked.
    The commonwealth Parliamentary Association has very clear rules relating to the functions of Parliamentary staff vis-a-vis the Speaker.
    Naturally, they would be watching the unfolding drama. The Secretary-General of Parliament has dug his own grave,much the same way as President Siribiris!

    • 1
      0

      yes, they are digging it so deep to fit for whole country.

  • 1
    1

    This how they will govern the country. Defeat those rouges.

  • 3
    1

    very good …what is the executive power means otherwise ??regardless of who holds it …..Had Ranil been in this position twisting the constitution none of the western diplomats cry ….

    JR Jaywardene made it clear only thing it cannot do would be turning a man to a women…right ??

    Regardless of Sirisena/Ranil/ Rajapaksha people have given the executive power to the president and with reasons to use it in a time like this to avoid chaos .

    Go with the Gazette and shut the F up ….period..

  • 6
    3

    The issue is not about Ranil or Mahinda. The issue is the manner in which an elected PM was removed without following the correct procedure.
    What happened to Ranil should not be allowed to happen to future Prime Ministers.
    If the President can remove a Prime Minister at his whims and fancies and appoint one of his buddies under the moonlight (this actually has happened in the night, secretly) what is the point of holding elections?
    As revealed by the President himself, Mahinda was not his first choice, but the third.
    What is the guarantee that the President would not go for fourth best or fifth best if he falls out with Mahinda? This is ridiculous.
    This practice has to be stopped.
    And the next issue is, why did he prorogue the Parliament soon after appointing Mahinda if he was confident that he (MR) has the majority which is the basis of the appointment?
    As a result, now there are two PMs.
    How could he form a new government+a new Cabinet without first proving that his choice has the majority in the Parliament? As a result, now there is an overlapping government/Cabinet.
    I am not attacking or favouring anybody.
    This is a bad precedent.
    If the President can remove an elected PM based on personal reasons, there is no point of having a Constitution, a Parliament, a Judicial, elections and above all, list of voters.
    I see lot of double standards involving this issue. If Mahinda was the PM and if the President removed him and appointed one of his buddies like Rajitha as the PM, will the JO support it?
    I understand an MOU has been signed which is proof that this new appointment is a business transaction between the two parties to meet personal demands.

  • 4
    7

    executive president has been elected by the majority of people….. We must not go against Executive president.

    • 0
      0

      Dirimaga
      Yeah, but the Executive President should also not have violated the Constitution.
      When he does that he is called a dictator exceeding the power given to him by people and the people have a right to voice against him.
      The Constitution is what makes the balance.
      Those who accused Mahinda for violating the Constitution now support Maithri when he violates the Constitution which is a clear double standard.

  • 3
    3

    There is a rumour that UPFA is planning to appoint a new Speaker. (I don’t think they have enough numbers.)
    I see all the preliminary signs of dictatorship.
    People talk about one (sweet?) dictator during 2010-2015.
    Are we going to see 2 dictators plus a dictatorial Parliament too, in 2018?
    For the last 11 days, I saw only dictatorship, high handedness, arrogance and twist of the law and democracy.
    If their attempt saw success, there won’t be any free and fair elections hereafter. The same way legislators were bought, voters will also be bought. We will have to experience election clashes and violence too, in the future.
    All hopes for a beautiful, peaceful, democratic country is collapsing right in front of our eyes. If the start is like this, how would be the rest?
    It is unbelievable how the power change people!!!!!
    Having taken stock of all this, my guess is they won’t go far.

  • 8
    3

    Nobody could beat RW inside Parliament as he’s got the cash from CB to buy MPs. On the streets RW has no chance against MR and Wickrasinghe know this very well. Thats why RW keep avoiding elections

  • 2
    0

    There is a saying in Sri Lanka folklore that a donkey should not try to do a dog’s job, and if it did, it would have to take the stick from the minder. Mr Speaker, you have invited your own treatment from minders, and now kindly reflect on the donkeys story before you lose your dignity also

  • 0
    0

    Discussion and decision in parliament is for the country is exchange of knowledge all are working for the country the present state is argument due to single thought abstracted through now the people are in exchange of ignorance lack of understanding and two Prime minster

  • 3
    2

    Karu suffers from the same disease most of the UNP suffers from. No backbone and willing to live and let live. Sri Lanka thru the war transformed itself into the brutal thuggish nation of scoundrels. Unfortunately these mostly uneducated idiots don’t care for decency and the rule of law. Money, Power and greed will drive them to do anything. So when you became speaker the first thing you should have done is to purge your institution of all the third class scoundrels who were appointed during the previous GOV and make sure that your people are in charge. But did you do that NO you did not. If you cant act like a brute and fight fire with fire then you will bite the dust soon enough. We need smart people within the UNP but they need to know how to act like brutes. They need to know how to slap their idiot employees particularly the ones who would have served the old master, abuse them in raw filth and kick them out of their jobs. If not you are a sucker and a hopeless moron born to lose. Why? because the first chance they get this is what they will do to you. So understand that treating them badly is not a sacrilage but what they would actually expect from the new master until when this never happens they realize aha I can bid my time and stick it to this guy.

  • 1
    1

    American people sends a noble message to the world.
    ———————————————-
    No compromising our Democracy.
    ——————————————-
    Saluting and sending blessings and best wishes to a Great people and a great country indeed.

    “United States of America”

    Sri Lanka, this is why we need a Constitution of lower house and upper house to do check and balance in the house.

    You can.not permit dictatorship, no matter who is in control.

    All parliament MPs are guilty of dictatorship, excluding the JVP,

    So far only JVP has sincerity in. Strengthening the house.

  • 0
    0

    Lay-Lankans using the good-old commonsense called the happening a coup. After using terms like crisis etc. etc CT has finally used the term coup d’etat.

    Usually the weak-minded join the coup team for temporary gain and here some parliamentary staff are doing just that.

  • 0
    0

    Hell of a country! Two Prime Ministers and a clown of a President dancing to the ” Bang Choon” played by bloody rogues ,thieves and murderers!”

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