Govt, JVP members call for punitive action over violent behavior in House last year

By Saman Indrajith
Government and some opposition MPs, yesterday, requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take immediate action against those who had been found guilty of chilli powder attacks in the House, last year.

Speaker Jayasuriya said that the relevant matter had been referred to the Attorney General’s Department and measures were being taken to initiate action against the culprits.

JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake demanded that Parliament take action against those responsible for the incident.

Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that disciplinary action should be taken against all 54, involved in the incident. “If we don’t take action against them, the people will lose faith in us. Everyone witnessed those events and the laws were broken.

Therefore, action should be taken against those who were involved.”

JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti asked the Speaker if the House was waiting for the recommendations of the Attorney General to take action regarding the assault on MP Vijitha Herath.

The Speaker said that it was the Police who were handling the case.

UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe said that it had been a year since the incident and it had brought Parliament into disrepute. “Therefore, I think all members will agree with me that such incidents should never happen again. Hence, we need to pass resolutions in Parliament to ensure that all those involved in this incident are punished. The action of the Attorney General is a different matter. The committee headed by the Deputy Speaker has issued recommendations and why can’t we act upon it? This is a huge issue. Therefore, we urge you (the Speaker) to take action.”

The Speaker said that the Deputy Speaker was in the House at this point and said that he would focus his attention on the matter and take necessary action.

UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said that the incident which took place during the 52 days last year carried criminal liabilities against those responsible. There were also violations of privileges. “The Police have taken the criminal liability aspect into account and notified the Attorney General. There is concern on the fact that the AG’s Department is taking so long to act upon such an incident. In fact, they should give priority to this matter. Those who were involved in this incident broke parliament furniture, slapped the police officers and behaved violently. This issue was taken up for discussion at the privileges committee. Yet, priority has not been given to dealing with this incident. Today, even schoolchildren are asking us why action has not been taken against the perpetrators. We are unable to give answers. Hence, I urge that this matter should be given priority and action should be taken against those responsible.”

The Speaker said that he would take necessary action soon.

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