MP Mannapperuma suspended from parliament for four weeks



By Saman Indrajith

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abyewardena yesterday suspended SJB Gampaha District MP Ajith Mannapperuma from Parliament for four weeks for touching the Mace during a protest against the curtailment of time allocated for the MPs’ questions.

Sittings had to be suspended for ten minutes as the Opposition MPs gathered in the Well of the House, opposing the Speaker’s decision at issue.Pandemonium broke loose when Public Security Minister Tiran Alles announced that he would table his answer to a question listed on yesterday’s Order Paper instead of reading it out. He said he would do so because the time allocated for the oral answers had been exhausted.

The Opposition MPs said that it was their right to raise questions, which had to be answered orally. Some MPs shouted that their rights had been blatantly violated. In the melee, MP Mannapperuma was seen touching the Mace but he could not grab it as Sergeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando was holding it.

The Speaker said that it was unparliamentary for MPs to touch the Mace, and suspended sittings for ten minutes.

After sittings resumed, Speaker Abeywardena said that MP Mannaperuma would be suspended from Parliament for four weeks due to his unruly behaviour.The Speaker said that the decision had been taken in accordance with Section 77.III of the Standing Orders, since the MP had committed a ‘serious misconduct’.