Monday, 19 November 2018 03:04

18.11.2018 - Presidential Presence To End Current Political Deadlock

For the second successive time a motion of no-confidence against the recently appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was passed in parliament despite the disruptive conduct of members of the recently appointed government. On both occasions President Maithripala Sirisena has declined to act on this no-confidence motion saying he is not satisfied with the process. The scenes of violence in parliament that were broadcast on the mass media have shocked the conscience of people. The National Peace Council is appalled at the manner in which chairs were thrown, unarmed policemen assigned to protect the Speaker Hon. Karu Jayasuriya were assaulted and even the Holy Bible was flung as a weapon.

We commend the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for continuing with the parliamentary sittings in the face of violent attempts to disrupt them. He showed courage and determination in carrying out his responsibilities. We also commend President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that he would continue with parliamentary proceedings without suspending them. We call on all those concerned to give full meaning to those sentiments of the president and to support the Speaker to conduct proceedings in parliament as they should be.

We note that all 225 representatives of the people have taken an oath to uphold the constitution and the procedures and conventions of parliament. The people of Sri Lanka have demonstrated their respect for the Rule of Law and the peaceful resolution of the crisis that besets the country. We ask the parliamentarians who represent these law abiding citizens to conduct themselves within the framework of the law. Sri Lanka’s democratic tradition goes back 87 years and has survived rebellions and civil conflicts. The country must not descend down the path to chaos and to economic ruination.

The National Peace Council urges all those parliamentarians, especially those who continue to disrupt the parliamentary process, to remember that they are trustees of the people’s sovereignty and cannot act of their own accord for personal gain. We urge them all to give due regard and respect to parliamentary procedure and to end the crisis that threatens the stability of the polity. We wish to echo the sentiments of the Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero who has said that President Sirisena himself should supervise the next vote in parliament. We call on the President to go to Parliament, take the seat he is entitled to, and act exert his moral influence to ensure that the vote meets the requisite standards for him to end the political deadlock.