The UPFA Joint Opposition (JO) group in the Parliament yesterday demanded a debate prior to the Second Reading of Budget 2017 to take up the no-confidence motion submitted against the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
In response Speaker Karu Jayasuriya held that the motion was already listed on the Order Book of Parliament, but the allocation for a date prior to Budget Day on 9 November depends on the Minister of Higher Education and Highways and Leader of the House of Parliament Lakshman Kiriella.
However, the JO group leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena accused Minister Kiriella of deliberately attempting to delay the motion and requested the Speaker to intervene.
Endorsing MP Gunawardena’s request, Chief Opposition Whip JVP MP Anura Dissanayake held that the Leader of the House of Parliament was adamant the no-confidence motion would go against the courts, with the mentioning of a particular case in it.
“The Speaker consulted the Attorney General and the motion was amended as per his advice. The amended motion has been included in the Order Book. So the motion could get delayed till January next year due to the Budget and Constitutional Assembly sittings. But Minister Kiriella’s argument is invalid,” he said.