Govt. ducks hedging deal in House

Govt. ducks hedging deal in House   

The government today opposed the controversial hedging deal being raised in Parliament by the opposition as a question under the Standing Order 23-2.

JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake rose to his feet to raise this issue in the House soon after the oral question time. Then, Leader of the House and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva raised objections saying that a matter, now pending before an international court of law, could not be debated or discussed in Parliament.

He said there were three legal cases involved in the hedging issue at the moment.

 “It is a matter now subjected to jurisdiction. We cannot allow it to be debated or discussed here as a result. We request the Speaker to give a ruling in this case,” he said.

However, Mr. Dissanayake said the Parliament could not take up matters that are only before a court of law in Sri Lanka, and therefore the Leader of the
House had no right to turn down his right to raise the matter in the House.

“If we go by the Leader of the House, we will not be able to raise any matter in the House.  We wonder whether the government is trying to block this issue being raised in the House. When the court cases were pending, we raised the same issue here in the past on several occasions. We have introduced parliamentary standing orders only in conformity with our constitution. We are not bound by international courts of laws in this case,” he said.

Government MP A.H.M. Azwer argued that though the case was before an international court of law, the persons concerned were from Sri Lanka. Therefore, he said Parliament should not debate this matter at all.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who spoke in favour of Mr. Dissanayake’s stand said that only matters related to criminal cases pending in local courts could not be discussed in the House.

After verbal exchanges across the political divide of the House, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said that he would give his ruling on Thursday. (Daily MIrror)

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