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Keeping A Tab On MPs

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya 

  • Public representatives are elected to represent the people in parliament but some elected representatives hardly go to Parliament
  • A proposal has been made to record the attendance of parliamentarians in the official parliament web site
  • There are many parliamentarians among the 225 who have never been heard in parliamen

Karu Jayasuriya and Vasudeva Nanayakkara

Public representatives are elected to represent the people in parliament but some elected representatives hardly go to Parliament.

However, now a proposal has been made to record the attendance of parliamentarians in the official parliament web site.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said discussions in this regard are under way and the process is likely to commence from May.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on several occasions had insisted that all parliamentarians should participate in discussions, committee meetings and other activities in Parliament.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had often advised the junior parliamentarians to engage in all parliamentary activities and represent their respective electorates. However, it is quite evident that most of them doze off in parliament and pay no attention to the proceedings.

Similarly, there are many parliamentarians among the 225 who have never been heard in parliament. Today who we have as parliamentarians are those who only engage in slinging mud at each other while ignoring their responsibility of representing the people of their electorates and highlighting the issues pertaining to their voters. Hence, measures are being implemented with the intention of uplifting the standards of parliament. Senior Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the move to record the attendance of Parliamentarians will help uphold discipline and standards in parliament.

Madduma Bandara who has over 30 years parliament experience said “Just as we did in the past, people want to listen to the debates that take place in parliament. The people loved to listen to the speeches of Gamini Dissanayake and Kadirgamar. We learned a lot from these speeches. However, today it is very unpleasant to see the manner in which senior politicians like Dinesh Gunawardena behave in parliament. This is why other juniors too behave indecently in parliament. This is the reason that parliament has become a joke now. Hence we have taken all these factors into consideration and have decided to take measures to re-establish parliamentary discipline and proper conduct.”

Joint Opposition MP, Prasanna Ranaweera said it is a good idea to publish the attendance of parliamentarians in the official web site. He further stated that even the media is reluctant to report news pertaining to the JO and said they make full use of the limited time allocated to the JO in parliament. UNP, MP Mujibur Rahuman said he too endorsed the move.

According to a survey conducted by a certain web site, it was revealed that the party that fully utilised the time allocated to them in parliament and highlighted the people’s concerns to the fullest was the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

When The Sunday Leader contacted JVP, MP Nalinda Jayatissa he said, “people vote for politicians, so that they can represent them in parliament. Not just the attendance, but we would like the people to know how far their elected representatives engage in committee meetings, debates and all parliament activities as well.” However, Left wing politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara is of the view that this whole exercise is a futile effort and of little significance. There is no point in trying to tell the people what they already know and what is of little significance to them. Sometimes parliamentarians have to engage in meetings of other committees and may not be able to attend the sittings. All the people are interested in is who stood up for them in parliament. They don’t care if parliamentarians come to parliament or not. People don’t understand that,” he said.

Meanwhile, measures are being taken to gather information regarding the attendance of parliamentarians from September 2015 to December 2016. Among parliamentarians, there are some who claim to be attending parliament but engage in other private activities. However, according to Nanayakkara, information on parliamentarians private activities is irrelevant to the people of this country and is only significant to their family. Hence, he said some mechanism should be implemented to keep the home front notified about the secret engagements of parliamentarians.

1 Comment for “Keeping A Tab On MPs”

  1. ed

    Mr. Speaker get all the fowl mouth ministers from the JO and the MPs of the JO completely checked and EVEN suspend them for at least 3 months. There should be a strict ETHICAL code followed and have DIGNITY to the country’s parliament.

    Most of the current ministers and mps from the joint opposition act live RASTHIADU KARAYO

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