President to make Policy Statement in Parliament today

President Maithripala Sirisena in a Special Statement in Parliament today will outline the policies and programmes to be implemented during the rest of the government’s term in office, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Daily News yesterday. Minister Amaraweera emphasised that the speech will not be a political statement of any sort and added it is only customary for a Head of State to make a statement when Parliament reconvenes following a prorogation.

“In his address, President Sirisena will speak of the successes and failures of the government in the last three years. He will speak on measures to be taken to rectify anamolies in areas where the government has failed to deliver. I am not exactly aware of the full content of the speech, but this will be the basic structure of President’s speech,” Minister Amaraweera further said.

Meanwhile, Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake on the same note told the Daily News that according to the Constitution, the President is entitled to deliver a Policy Statement in Parliament when a new session starts. “The duration of the speech, content and otherwise, we are not aware of. Normal security measures will be in place,” he said.

“There will be a Guard of Honour which is customary,” Minister Amaraweera further said. President Maithripala Sirisena on April 12 issued a Gazette proroguing Parliament until May 8. The President made the decision to prorogue Parliament by virtue of the powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution