Arundika apologises for sitting on Speaker’s Chair



UPFA MP Arundika Fernando apologised to Parliament yesterday for sitting on the Speaker’s Chair on November 16. MP Fernando was leading a mock sitting on November 16 without allowing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to preside the House. The Speaker was forced to enter the House from a side door along with Sergeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando, who carried the Mace, guarded by a human chain of unarmed Parliament police personnel. Thereafter, violent scenes unfolded in the House as the UPFA MPs turned aggressive marking the lowest point in the history of Sri Lanka Parliament.

MP Fernando, speaking in the Parliamentary debate yesterday, expressed his regret for sitting on the Speaker’s chair. However, he insisted that they had to resort to such behaviour in protest of the Speaker’s actions. “While talking about the respect for the Speaker’s Chair, I must explain the reasons which led to that incident. “We urged the Speaker to take action against the two MPs who sneaked in knives to the Chamber at a Party Leaders’ Meeting held prior to the sittings. The Speaker’s reaction to that request made us angry. “However, the Mace was not inside when I sat on the Speaker’s Chair. When I was in the Speaker’s Chair, I saw the reactions of the foreign ambassadors who were in the gallery. Those were our internal problems and we must be allowed to resolve them. It was foreign diplomatic missions who guarded this pro-western Government. Even Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith stressed that our problems must be resolved by ourselves,” he commented.

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