Speaker says debate can be extended beyond 6th

The debate on the reports of the two presidential commissions scheduled to be held on 6th February will not be limited to just one day and it can be continued on the following days with the consent of the party leaders, the Speaker's Office announced yesterday.

The Speaker's Office in a media statement said today it appears that there is a need to further clarify the details reported by certain media outlets regarding the parliamentary debate to be held on the 6th of February on the reports of the presidential commissions of inquiry on Central Bank bond issue and on serious frauds and corruption.

Since the dates for the debate on the relevant reports had to be fixed in a way that would not interfere with the upcoming election process, it was decided to hold the debate on 6th of February by the consent of the majority of the party leaders but it does not mean that the debate ends on that day, the Speaker's Office said.

The statement said the decision to hold the debate on February 6 was taken at the party leaders meeting held on the 30th January and with the consent of party leaders, it is possible to extend the debate to as many days as needed.

After the Election Commission pointed out that the date proposed earlier by the Prime Minister to hold the debate was not practical due to the February 10th elections, the representatives of the Joint Opposition and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna proposed February 6th as an alternative date. Representatives of the Sri Lanka Freedom party and the Tamil National Alliance also agreed to the new date.

After the Prime Minister was informed of the majority's decision, the Premier has agreed to hold the debate on the 6th and accordingly, under the Standing Order No.14 called on the Speaker in writing to convene parliament on the 6th of February.

The Speaker's Office stressed that the debate on the 6th of February was called with the consent of the majority party leaders, and after the debate, as per the agreement of party leaders, future dates can be assigned to debate the matters relevant to the commissions' reports further.