Twenty-seven MPs nominated to Sri Lanka’s new National Council

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced nominees from government and opposition parties to the newly proposed National Council.

The council comprises the Speaker as chair, with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Leader of the House Susil Premajayantha, Chief Government Whip Prasanna Ranatunga and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and no more than 35 other MPs nominated by party leaders.

The Speaker told parliament on Friday September 23 that the following MPs have been nominated by their respective party: Namal Rajapaksa, Sagara Kariyawasam, Douglas Devananda, Nazeer Ahmed, Tiran Alles, Sisira Jayakody, Sivanseathurei Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan, Johnston Fernando, Rauff Hakeem, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Vajira Abeywardana, A L M Athaulla, Prof Tissa Vitharana, Rishad Bathuideen, Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudewa Nanayakkara, Palani Digambaram, Mano Ganesan, Udaya Gammanpila, Rohitha Abeygunawardene, Jeevan Thondaman, G G Ponnambalam, Athuraliye Ratana Thero, Asanka Nawaratne, Ali Zabry Raheem, C V Vigneswaran, and Veerasumana Weerasinghe.

However, the privately owned Newfirst Network reported that the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the breakaway faction of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by MP Anura Priyadarsha Yapa had failed to nominate members.

Sri Lanka’s parliament on September 20 passed a resolution to constitute a ‘National Council’ to determine, among other things, the priorities of the legislature when formulating national policies and common minimum programmes on economic stabilisation.

The resolution, proposed by Prime Minister Gunawardena was passed without objection and the National Council, once formed, was to represent all parties represented in Sri Lanka’s ninth parliament.

Agreement of all parties was obtained after three rounds of discussion, a statement from the parliament said.

According to the statement, the National Council will:

  • Determine the general priorities of parliament to guide the formulation of short, medium, and long-term national policies.
  • Agree on short-term and medium-term common minimum programs related to economic stabilisation
  • Organise special meetings with cabinet ministers, the National Council, the chairpersons of special committees and youth observers of youth organisations

The National Council also has the power to summon reports from the Sectoral Oversight Committees, the Committee on Public Finance, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Enterprises and any committee that controls the Public finance, the statement said. (Colombo/Sep23/2022)

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