Sri Lanka should end secrecy of parliamentary committees: legislator

Feb 11, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should consider ending secrecy surrounding the proceedings of parliamentary committees, a member of the legislature’s committee on public accounts (COPA) has said. Before liberty properly developed in Britain, whose parliamentary traditions Sri Lanka sometimes claim to follow, all proceedings in the legislature were secret.

Newspaper editors were punished and fined by the parliament, which at the time was believed to be ‘sovereign’ or ‘supreme’ in Britain before the concept of individual freedom and sovereignty was fully developed in the country.

Some newspapers at the time used the ruse of imaginary countries such as Lilliputia to publish debates.

But in 1771 at attempt to punish a printer called Miller failed because, Brass Crosby Lord Mayor of London and magistrate, released him.

Though Crosby was initially committed to the Tower of London, he was later freed in the face of public opinion which increasingly favoured free speech, leading to transparency of parliamentary proceedings.

Analyst say the Crosby issue was a landmark event in British history where parliamentary absolutism

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