Rathana Thera storms out in high dudgeon

A tense situation arose at a party leaders’ meeting at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday with participants engaged in heated arguments. Jathika Hela Urumaya representative Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera walked out in protest.

The party leaders met at the Parliamentary complex with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presiding to allocate two days for a debate on proposed electoral reforms.

Ven. Rathana Thera, contacted for comment, said that he understood that some of the participants had a hidden agenda to disrupt the passage of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. “The content of the Amendment could not be taken up in the form of an adjournment debate. It was against parliamentary traditions. As some of the participants tried to act against parliamentary traditions I decided to walk out.”

The government and opposition participants at the meeting had expressed contradictory opinions on the adjournment motion for debate., sources said.

Meanwhile, a senior government minister said that the meeting of party leaders had ended with the agreement to allocate two days for the debate on electoral reforms. Accordingly, the proposed electoral reforms would be taken up for debate in Parliament today and tomorrow.

The debate would continue until 6.30 pm today and would resume at 9.30 am tomorrow and go on till 6.30 pm, sources said.