Speaker has ignored the Constitution, Standing Orders and parliamentary traditions – President

Speaker has ignored the Constitution, Standing Orders and parliamentary traditions – President

Full text of the reply sent by President Maithripala Sirisena to the Speaker:

Hon. Karu Jayasuriya


Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Sri Jayewardhanepura Kotte

Hon. Speaker,

I paid my attention to your letter and its attachments sent to me in relation to the in the Parliamentary matters on November 14, 2018.

First of all, I wish to point out that your conduct when there is a judiciary process regarding the Parliament is detrimental to the legal process with regard to the case before the courts.

I would like to point out that the Gazettes referred to in your note have been issued by me in accordance with the powers vested in me by the Constitution.

The procedure for submitting a no-confidence motion against the government and the steps that have to be taken to adopt it are mentioned in the Constitution and Standing Orders, but, you have acted in disregard of the Constitution, Standing Orders and Parliamentary traditions.

When appointing a Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution, the provision is that I shall appoint a Member of Parliament, who, in my opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament and there is no requirement or a parliamentary tradition that the Prime Minister or the Government to show the majority of confidence of the Parliament.

Furthermore, your attempt to prove that the said Motion was duly adopted by sending me a document with signatures that has not been certified by the Parliament is regrettable.

Furthermore, I wish to remind you that on 9th January 2015, I have appointed Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister on the request of the United National Party, the political party you represent, even though the UNP had only 41 seats in the House.

The Parliament making attempts to define the constitutional validity of the Gazette Notifications issued by me tantamount to usurping the powers of the Supreme Court, which has been entrusted with sole powers to interpret the Constitution.

Finally, I remind you regrettably that the Speaker, whichever the political party represented to enter Parliament, once appointed as Speaker has the responsibility to work independently to safeguard the dignity of the august House and the trust kept by the people on it. I completely reject your statement in the Proposal No 1 that appointments and orders issued by me are contradictory to the Constitution. I have  taken those steps listed in the Proposal No 1 in accordance with the Constitution. The old date of the document that contained signatures of Members of Parliament sent by you has been erased and suffixed the date as 14th of November.

Moreover, I, with respect, inform you that the President has the absolute power to appoint a Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution.

Yours Sincerely,

Maithripala Sirisena



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