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PM asks Speaker to hold special sitting on Monday

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to hold a special session of Parliament on 11 November at 10.30 a.m. after a lack of speakers brought sittings to an early close yesterday.

Wickremesinghe submitted his request yesterday shortly after the House was adjourned until 1.00 p.m. on 3 December.

The Speaker will issue the Gazette calling for Parliament to meet shortly, officials said. The House plans to take up the National Innovation Agency Bill and Prevention of Offenses Relating to Sports Bill on the special sitting day.

According to the provisions of Parliament Standing Order 16, during an adjournment of more than 48 hours, the Speaker, if so requested by the Prime Minister, can give notice for Parliament to be convened. Convening as per the Prime Minister’s request will lead to an earlier date than to which Parliament had adjourned as may be contained in the request.

Following such a request, Parliament can meet on the date and time specified in the notice issued by the Speaker and will transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that date and time. When issuing such a notice, the Speaker will take all practicable steps to acquaint members with the date and time on which Parliament has been convened.

The National Innovation Agency Bill provides for the establishment of the agency and incorporation to seek private sector support for innovation, to contribute to national research and identify barriers to innovation. The National Innovation Agency is administered by a governing council and the chairperson of the council will be the secretary to the president.

Other members of the council include a high-ranking official of the ministry assigned to the subject of development strategies, the director general of the National Planning Department or his nominee, director general of the Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka, a high-ranking official of the ministry assigned the subject of science, a high-ranking official of the ministry assigned the subject of technology and research and a high-ranking official of the ministry assigned the subject of International Trade and the Chairperson or his nominee of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology.

The Prevention of Offenses Relating to Sports Bill will be the much-needed regulation to prevent offences such as match-fixing, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting in sports. The Bill, which will be taken up for a second reading on 11 November, seeks to strengthen national and international cooperation between sports organisations, law enforcement agencies and betting operators to exchange information relating to match-fixing, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting in sports and to promote best practices in sports. It also seeks to conduct programs to promote awareness of such issues relating to match-fixing.

(FT)

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