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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Marxist politician questions practicality of a private member's motion to amend Sri Lanka’s Army Act
Mon, Mar 29, 2010, 09:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna parliamentary group leader and Democratic National Alliance front liner, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Private Member's motion to amend the Army Act presented by the main opposition United National Party parliamentarian President's Counsel Wijedasa Rajapakse was not practical.

Dissanayake told the media yesterday (28) that since the current parliament would meet only on April 6 to extend the Emergency Regulations while it is the new parliament that would reconvene on April 22, there was no way to amend the Army Act.

He explained that there were only two ways to get a law passed in the parliament. One is to present it as a bill by a minister and the other is to present it as a Private Member's motion.

The relevant ministry could request a period of six months to study the Private Member's motion and it would be presented to the parliament only after this period.

Meanwhile, Acting Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake had informed UNP parliamentarian Rajapakse that his Private Member's motion could not be entertained as the House was reconvened to pass the Emergency only.

Dassanayake in writing has informed Rajapakse that the parliament was reconvened on March 9 for the sole purpose of approving the state of Emergency which was declared under the section 155 of the Constitution in accordance with the National Security Ordinance.

"Therefore there is no provision to entertain your motion," he had said in the letter.

Rajapakse told the media that he plans to propose an amendment to the Army Act when the parliament meets next month to extend the state of emergency to stop the government from misinterpreting it.

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