Special statement by SL President

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Issuing a special statement, President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation this evening (11).

“This is the third occasion in 14 days I am addressing you to explain recent developments. First, on October 26 I explained my views to you after appointing Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.

Then, at the meeting held at Ape Gama in Battaramulla on 5th November, I explained the political views to you. Today is the third occasion and significantly, this is the first time I address you after dissolving the Parliament. First, I must tell you the circumstances leading to the dissolution of the Parliament very briefly.

Our Parliamentary System began in 1947 after the end of the State Council System. Since then, the country was governed over the years with holding of elections and changing of governments. By the last week, in the highest institute that represents people’s supremacy to usher in a disciplined, ethical ad cultured society, the individual worth of Members of Parliament was estimated as Rs 100 million to Rs 150 million, and in one instance as high as Rs 500 million.

We have experiences about several political crisis and changes in the past. I remember the political crisis due to the opposition to the Lake House Bill in 1964. The government was changed due to that. However, since 1947 we have not seen of dissolution of parliament due to issues of corruption. The Central Bank robbery after 2015, the involvement in various corrupt practices since then and finally the political crisis during the attempts to show the majority support after the appointing of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and the value placed on Members of Parliament as I mentioned earlier were extremely unfortunate developments. All of you will acknowledge what a tragical situation in politics when the value of the Members of Parliament, who were elected to represent the people, were commercially evaluated.

That was one of the main reasons for the dissolution of the Parliament. The second reason was the most peculiar behavior of the former Speaker, Mr Karu Jyasuriya. I am extremely sad about that. He is a good friend of mine. The Speakers of our Parliament since 1947, until now, traditionally conducted themselves in neutral and most impartial manner. I wish to state, that his behavior of disregarding Standing Orders and Parliamentary Conventions and attempting not to recognize the appointment of a Prime Minister by the President exercising his Presidential powers was the second reason for dissolving the Parliament.”

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