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* Sri Lanka opposition MPs' decision to appear before court is a violation of parliamentary privileges - Deputy Speaker
Thu, Jan 3, 2013, 05:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 03, Colombo: Decision taken by some of the opposition members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that probed the charges against Chief Justice to appear before the Appellate Court today is a violation of the 17th clause of the Parliament Privileges Act, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody has said.

Two of the four opposition members of the PSC - Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Vijitha Herath and Tamil national Alliance (TNA) Leader and MP R. Sampanthan decided to appear before the court at the hearing of a petition filed by the Chief Justice challenging the PSC and seeking to annul its conclusions against her.

The other two members of the PSC, United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarians Lakshman Kiriella and John Amaratunga decided not to attend the hearings.

The Deputy Speaker pointed out that it is a serious violation of parliamentary privileges, if a member of a parliament appears in Court without the permission of the Parliament regarding a matter related to a committee of Parliament.

Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke filed the petition at the Court of Appeal seeking to prevent the implementation of the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee.

Meanwhile, the government says it is willing to explain the impeachment process to any party and the External Affairs Ministry will send a suitable reply to the UN regarding the impeachment process in response to the concerns raised by the UN Special Rapporteur.

The government has emphasized that the transparency of the impeachment process could be confirmed to the international community by explaining the process to the UN.

The government assured that the PSC on the impeachment motion has not been politicized.

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