Speaker sends motion to AG House

The much-hyped 'no confidence' motion against Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake is in limbo, as Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is consulting the Attorney General (AG) on the content of the motion.

Speaker Jayasuriya said the House would be informed of the future course of action with regard to the No-Faith motion submitted by the Joint Opposition against the Foreign Minister, tomorrow (10).

He was responding to NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, who raised a point of order demanding to know why the Government was delaying the process of the motion and what hinders the Government from taking the motion for debate.

Speaker Jayasuriya said there was a dispute at the Party Leaders' meeting that the motion could not be debated in Parliament as the matter is being investigated by the Presidential Commission.

"I would let you know on Thursday. I have received the motion. It is sub judice as the matter is being investigated by the Presidential Commission too. I need to consult the Attorney General in this regard. When I receive the Attorney General's response, I will decide what could be done about the motion and let you know," Jayasuriya said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, intervening, asked, "Is the Opposition asking the Foreign Minister to go to the UN office in Colombo with a mat and start a demonstration there? The Speaker will inform the House of his decision. We are doing everything in a transparent manner."

Speaker Jayasuriya: The matter was discussed at the party leaders' meeting today. The party leaders accepted my position.

UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila: It is wrong to claim that the content of the motion is sub judice. The matter being investigated by the Presidential Commission is something else. The motion is a different issue. So the problem of sub judice does not arise here.

Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissananayke: The motion has not been entered in the Order Book of Parliament. How could the Speaker consult the Attorney General on a matter which has not even entered in the Order Book? The motion had been submitted many days ago. By this time it should have been entered in the Order Book. Why does the Government not print it in the Order Book?

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe: I too came to know of the motion from newspaper reports. I did not see it.

At this time opposition MPs shouted that the Prime Minister too has started following President Maithripala Sirisena's example of learning of country's issues from newspapers.

The Speaker said that he would wait for the Attorney General's opinion and let the House know whether the motion could be entered in the Order Book and could be taken for debate in the House.

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