Rajapaksa occupies Opposition Leader’s seat

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa sat on the seat reserved for the Opposition Leader of Parliament by mistake yesterday.Former President Rajapaksa’s seat is next to Opposition Leader R Sampanthan’s in the front row.

Rajapaksa arrived in the main chamber shortly after the sittings commenced and went to the Opposition Leader’s seat. Sampanthan and many TNA MPs were not present in the chamber at that time. He greeted Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella as he assumed the seat.

After a few minutes, a Parliamentary staff member was seen telling Joint Opposition MP Sanath Nishantha that the former President was in the wrong seat. MP Nishantha, who was seated in the second row, immediately went near the former President and communicated the message.

Former President Rajapaksa hurriedly moved to his seat. Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Minister Lakshman Kiriella were seen making light-hearted comments.

The former President, who entered the House around 1.15pm accompanied with JO MPs Sanath Nishantha, Prasanna Ranaweera and several others, remained in the chamber for about an hour before leaving his group to hand over the No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister to the Speaker.

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