‘Disgraceful’ incident in Parliament ‘shames’ the nation – Ranil

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the “disgraceful incident” today at the Parliament, is an incident that shames the whole nation and has to be condemned in the harshest possible terms.

“This is a blow to democracy. It is a blow to all of us who are voters of Sri Lanka in whom the sovereignty lies,” he said speaking at a press briefing in parliament after its adjournment.

Parliament descended into chaos for a second day on Friday as MPs representing the government threw books, chili paste and water bottles at the Speaker to try to disrupt a second no-confidence motion.

“Today the parliament met after our delegations met the President and he wanted another resolution passed in parliament. We acted according to that decision which was states in the communiqué,” the former prime minister said.

But unfortunately the parliament was occupied by a section of the MPs belonging to the SLPP and SLFP, he said.

He said that the Speaker was prevented from coming into the chamber and that when the Speaker came 45 minutes late and when the quorum bell stopped, he conducted affairs of Parliament and they passed the resolution in accordance with Article 47 (1) and 47 (2) of the Constitution.

“It’s not the resolution it’s the damage done to the system. In 85 years of history, we have to be ashamed about this. Never has this happened before,” he emphasised.

“We have seen incidents in Parliament, but not like this.”

He said that the speaker was nearly assaulted and members of parliament were assaulted. “This has to be condemned,” he stressed.

Wickremesinghe said that no matter which party they voted for, everyone must condemn this and that they are not going to allow this to happen.

“We have the majority in this House. The majority will have its way and the people will ensure that this damage done to our system is handled. But it’s going to take a long time.”

He added that the injuries that the opposition MPs suffered today is nothing compared to what the democratic system has suffered.