Uproar in House over MP Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam’s question

The ruling made by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene not to allow Akkilai Illangai Tamil Congress ( AITC) MP Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam to raise a question relating to holding a remembrance of late LTTE member Rajasuriya Patheepan (Thileepan) caused an uproar in Parliament today.

The uproar began when Speaker said the MP cannot be allowed to raise the question as there was a case pending in courts on the matter.

“It has been brought to my notice and it is also self explanatory in paragraph 3 of the question that is to be raised by the MP under standing order 27(2) is a matter under adjudication by the courts of law. Under these circumstances I wish to inform the House that I am not in a position to allow the matter to be raised in the House under standing orders 36(A). I also wish to mention that only one of the party leaders in the opposition is allowed to raise questions under standing order 27(2),” the Speaker said.

Mr. Ponnampalam who responded said the court case on the matter he was to raised had already ended. “Please reverse your decision and allow me to raise the question,” he said.

Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardene then argued that a matter which is being locked into by the courts cannot be referred or discussed in the House.

The Speaker then said his decision could not be reversed since it would create a precedent by other party leaders as well.

Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella who joined in the cross talk said Mr. Ponnampalam should be allowed to raise the question if the court case had ended.

Later Mr. Ponnampalam said the Speaker might have been misled by one sentence in his statement which he referred to judiciary and said he would omit that part if allowed to raise the issue. By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana

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