Parliament to be prorogued in January?

A move to get rid of Ranjith Bandara as COPE Chairman

6 December 2023 06:30 am – 20      – 4343

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Colombo, Dec.6 (Daily Mirror) – President Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to be mulling prorogation of Parliament by the middle of January, next year.

Once Parliament is prorogued, pending businesses before the House will lapse, and the new Parliament, once convened by the President, has to resume them afresh. The Speaker and the MPs will continue to function.

The President can prorogue Parliament for a maximum period of two months. In the proclamation announcing the prorogation, the new date for the convening of the House should be announced. At the end of a prorogation, a new Session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the President. He is empowered under the Constitution to make a statement of government Policy in terms of the provisions stipulated in Paragraph (2) of Article 33 of the Constitution.

Following prorogation, the committees including the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) cease to function.

An inside source said prorogation is meant to make way for the appointment of a new COPE chairman instead of current Chairman SLPP MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara who is facing allegations. Prof. Bandara was accused of acting with a conflict of interests with Sri Lanka Cricket as COPE chairman.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa charged that Prof. Bandara was a consultant for SLC for a project called Kandy Cricket Campus. Controversy surrounds the presence of Prof. Bandara at the COPE sessions. The COPE later decided to discuss SLC matters with Prof. Bandara in the chair.

Also, the current sectorial oversight committees will be renewed once the new session begins after prorogation. The current Parliament constituted in 2020 has had three sessions so far.


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