The ruling party and the Opposition engaged in a verbal battle in Parliament once again with regard to the Chairmanship of the Public Finance Committee today.
The verbal battle flared up when Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella questioned how Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardena allowed the Committee of Selections to appoint SJB MP Mayantha Dissanayake as Chairman of the Finance Committee, despite an agreement had already been reached to appoint MP Harsha de Silva to the post. “You have brought disrepute to the House,” he told the Speaker.
MP Rauff Hakeem who made a similar accusation alleged that the Speaker had phoned Mayantha Dissanayake and had requested him to take over the post. “It was MP Dissanayake who called me,” the Speaker replied instantly.
MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake who joined the cross-talk said it was appropriate to allow the Opposition to decide on the chair.
“It is appropriate to give the Opposition to name a Chairperson to the Finance Committee as per the Standing Orders,” he said.
Leader of the House Susil Premachandra who responded said the Standing Orders only said that an Opposition member should be appointed as the Chairman of the Finance Committee.” Committee of Selections had followed the Standing Orders, “he said.
Speaker Abeywardena said there was no point in shouting on the issue as the matter was over now.
SLPP Nimal Lansa said someone from the SJB should state whether MP Dissanayake still represents the party. This is an internal issue of SJB,” he said.
The haggling over the Chairmanship of the Financial Committee chair originally flared up in the House on Thursday with MP Harsha de Silva protesting against the appointment of Dissanayake to the post. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)
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