Connect with us


Attention of parliamentary committee drawn to need for expert assistance



Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake addressing the gathering. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, MP Angajan Ramanathan and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena look on (pic courtesy Parliament)


Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that the attention of the Parliamentary Liaison Committee had been drawn to the need to seek the assistance of experts and researchers for special committees such as the Committee on Public Finance, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).

A number of Committee Chairpersons who participated in this Committee meeting expressed their views in this regard and pointed out the need to obtain the contribution of experts in various fields including economics.

The meeting chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, was attended by the Leader of the House and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and the Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardane.

MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa pointed out that the assistance of experts as well as researchers was very much needed as committees such as the Committee on Public Finance had to meet daily during the budget period and had to discuss and approve economic and financial regulations.

Leader of the House and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who approved that stance also stated that it was very important to seek the assistance of experts for special committees. He also said that the possibility of amending the Standing Orders and holding Ministerial Consultative Committee meetings within the Ministry should be explored and through that more officials could be involved.

In addition, attention was drawn to the possibility of holding committees with public engagement such as the Committee on Public Petitions outside Parliament, the Secretary General said. He also said that the members of the committee had instructed him to look for a place to use a government building outside the parliament premises for the purpose.

The Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardane as well as Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera pointed out the need for researchers to make the MPs more aware of the issues that needed to be addressed during parliamentary debates.

The Liaison Committee meets once in two months under the chairmanship of the Speaker. At the meeting the Secretary General said that officials were currently being contacted online at many committee meetings and that steps had also been taken to update the website and make the information of the committees more accessible to the public.

The Secretary General said that the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meetings and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) meetings were recorded and broadcast. With the permission of the Chairpersons of other Committees, press releases were issued to the media through the Department of Communication of Parliament, he said.

Leader of the House Minister Gunawardena requested the Speaker to look into the possibility of holding Ministerial Consultative Committee meetings at the relevant ministry premises as it is possible to obtain the contribution of a large number of officials.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


MP’s wife, father-in-law among three detained



Rishad held under PTA to be questioned

16-year-old girl’s death:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Police investigating the death of 16-year-old Ishalini, the domestic servant at All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader Rishad Bathiudeen’s Baudhaloka Mawatha residence have arrested Ayesha Shiabdeen, 46, the wife of the former minister.

Police also took into custody Rishad’s father-in-law Mohammed Shiabdeen, 70, and Ponnaiah Pandaram alias Shankar, 64, a resident of Dayagama.

Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said that Shankar had brought Ilashini from Dayagama to the Baudhaloka Mawatha residence of Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) Vanni District lawmaker late last year.

Having studied the post postmortem report, they were taken into custody in terms of Section 360 C and Section 308 B of the Penal Code that dealt with human trafficking and cruelty to children, the top police officer said. According to him, so far 20 statements had been recorded.

Asked whether MP Bathiudeen, too, had been among the questioned, Senior DIG Rohana said the parliamentarian detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) over 2019 Easter Sunday carnage, too, would be interrogated in that regard.

The ACMC contested the last general election on the SJB ticket. It switched its allegiance to the SJB ahead of 2020 general election after having represented the cabinet in UNP led yahapalana administration. Rishad has also served President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet during his second term.

Having suffered serious burn injuries on July 3 at the MP’s residence and admitted to the National Hospital, Illashini succumbed to her injuries on July 15th. Medical examination revealed that she had been raped over a period of time.

The police spokesman said that they intended to secure court approval to detain the suspects for 72 hours. A Superintendent of Police could obtain such approval on the strength of a B report submitted to the court in respect of offenses on children.

Although, the police indicated earlier in the day they would be produced in Colombo Magistrate court they weren’t brought in.

Meanwhile, the SJB said that interested parties were making a despicable attempt to politicize the incident. The police should be allowed to conduct the investigation without interference, a spokesman for the main Opposition party said.


Continue Reading


Women’s organisations in North conduct protests demanding justice for Ilashini



A section of those engaged in Jaffna protests


By Dinasena Ratugamage

Women’s organisations in the North yesterday held a number of demonstrations in Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna against the death of J. Ilashini, the 16 -year-old girl who died while working at SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence.

The protesters urged authorities to ensure that investigations into the death are conducted in a transparent manner. The family of the victim should be compensated and those guilty punished, they said.

Representatives of the organisations said that if justice was not done, they would hold a massive demonstration in Tarapuram, Mannar, which Bathiudeen represents in Parliament.

Continue Reading


Dancer lodges complaint with police over FB post 



Police headquarters yesterday (23) said that dancer Anusha Damayanthi had lodged a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over a Facebook post alleging that she was running a brothel.

Police headquarters said that Damayanthi, while denying the accusation, had also brought to the CID’s notice that a minister was being accused of lambasting the Walana anti-crime strike force for carrying out the raid. Police said that an investigation was underway.

Continue Reading