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Prorogation of Parliament undemocratic - Speaker

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 November 2003, 05:57 GMT]
In a landmark ruling, the speaker of the Sri Lanka's Parliament, Mr. Joseph Micheal Perera Wednesday stated that the prorogation of Parliament by President Chandrika Kumaratunga was "undemocratic". "The Parliament has the authority to assemble and activate its legislative powers" he said. Sri Lanka's national legislature reopened Wednesday morning 10 a.m.

The speaker gave the ruling on the President's prorogation in response to a written request made to him by 130 MPs.

The Speaker said that Parliament has the authority to do so under the Constitution.

“Parliament should have the right to request to reconvene its sessions if executive powers were exercised exceedingly. President in suspending Parliament prevented its legislative activities, thus violating its collective rights”, the speaker stated in his ruling Wednesday.

He said that the standing orders of Parliament should be amended to prevent arbitrary prorogation of the legislature by the President.

The opposition attempted to shout down the Speaking as he was making his special statement to the house.

Opposition then demanded a debate on the Speaker's ruling.

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