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JVP queries from Speaker

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna on 6 July queried as to whether the Parliament has taken steps to start a ‘Register of Members’ Interest’ as specified in the Code of Conduct for MPs, which was put into practice from 15 April.

JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake, during the Parliamentary sitting on 6 July, brought it to the attention of the House that the Code of Conduct for MPs requires the Parliament to maintain a Register of ‘Members’ Interest’. It should contain information such as the business relationships and financial interests of MPs as well as information of their close family members.

Elaborating, Rathnayake noted the Code of Conduct for MPs prevented the MPs from participating in a debate or voting on a question relating to a matter in which the individual has financial or business interest.

The JVP MP referred to an argument that had sparked off between him and State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero, during the Second Reading debate on the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (Special Provisions) Bill on 20 June. During that debate, Rathnayake alleged that Grero had no moral right to participate in the debate as he is a stakeholder in the private education industry.

He queried from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as to whether that incident could be taken as a breach of the Code of Conduct for MPs.

Jayasuriya replied that the new Privileges and Ethics Committee was appointed only a couple of weeks ago. He would make sure that the necessary steps regarding the matter raised by Rathnayake would be taken, he added.

(Ceylon Today)

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