Sri Lanka Parliament cuts budgetary allocations for Prime Minister’s office

Nov 29, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Parliament today voted for a motion to cut off budgetary allocations to the Prime Minister’s office which was approved by the House after having taken a vote, 123 in favour and 0 against.

The motion, signed by UNP MPs Navin Dissanayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Nalaka Prasad Colonne, Dr. Kavinda Heshan Jayawardana, Hector Appuhamy, and Chathura Sandeepa Senaratne, challenges the use of funds by Prime Minister’s office.

According to the motion, the Parliamentarians held that the Secretary to the Prime Minister has no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic as a no-confidence motion against the government passed on 14 November 2018.

The UPFA who avoided the Parliament, however, said the motion itself is sub judice as a case is pending in the Court. At the commencement of the proceedings, the Speaker, however, said the motion is not sub judice.

Speaker’s announcement to the Parliament

This morning, I had a delegation led by the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena who raised an issue about this matter, the Motion being sub judice. So, I have already explained my position on the matter, that especially the matter before the House today is not with regard to any Minister, State Minister or Deputy Minister, but with regard to the Secretary to the Prime Minister.

This House has already adopted Motions of No-confidence against the Government, and the adoption of such resolution or Motion of No-confidence cannot be challenged or disputed in any other forum. The Motion before the House today is a matter which arises consequent to the adoption of the No-confidence Motion. What is sought to be debated today is not the matter under consideration by the Court of Appeal. As such, there is no impediment to this Motion being debated in the House.

In any event, the proceedings in the Court of Appeal are not in the nature of a trial before an original court and I am of the view that no real and substantial danger or prejudice would be caused to the outcome of those proceedings by this House debating this Motion.

In any case, there is no case pending relating to payment of expenses in the Prime Minister’s Office. Therefore, I am also convinced, having consulted expert constitutional lawyers in the country, that this matter does not fall within the purview of Article 152 of the Constitution. Therefore, as such, I permit this Motion to be debated in the House today.