The Standing Order Committee had assembled last week to pave way for the implementation of one of the first commitments of the manifesto and several decisions had been made in a bid to strengthen the parliament.
State Minister for Higher Education, Professor Rajiva Wijesingha states the meeting was very successful but notes the absence of Minister of Public Order John Amaratunga who was due to represent the UNP at the meeting.
According to Professor Wijesingha, the following decisions had been agreed upon to strengthen the Parliament:
– To ensure answers to parliamentary questions
– Ensure more discussion about bills including urgent bills that can only be taken up ‘two days from the date on which it was presented’
A decision has also been taken for no bills to be taken up for consideration unless any text is available to members in all three languages and for every bill to be accompanied by a statement of legal effect
– Ensuring a date for standing and select committees to report on matters assigned to them
– Vitally ensuring a judicial inquiry in the case of impeachments for the judiciary and other officials whose independence must be guarded
– Ensuring that finance oversight committee are chaired by the Opposition and that the executive branch either caries out their recommendations or gives reasons why they are unable carry execute them while also suggesting alternatives to resolve any issues
A suggestion had also been made for more teeth to be given to public petitions committee and a decision had also been taken with regard to the Committee on High Posts that examinations must he held within a month of the nomination and before any assumption of duties.
TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena and FSP MP Ajith Kumara had attended the meeting.