Parliamentarians request Speaker to divulge list of MPs’ names

Declaration of assets and liabilities:

Many Parliamentarians yesterday requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take measures to divulge the list of names of members who have declared their assets and liabilities,to the media.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya observed that he would act accordingly after taking a list of the Ministers who have declared their assets and liabilities to the President’s Secretariat as the Ministers have to make their declaration to the President.

The members made their request to the Speaker following the latter’s statement to the House that a section of the print media had carried a misleading news item on the number of the members who had declared their assets and liabilities.

The Speaker stated that the same news item had misleadingly carried that 219 members had not declared their assets and liabilities for year 2017.

He also said that considerable number of government and opposition Parliamentarians have declared their assets and liabilities. Then, the same news item appeared on some TV channels.

The same paper had carried a correction on September 4. “Why are they attacking me? Are they attacking me because I was able to reduce the cost by Rs. 25 Billion? Are they hurt by this achievement? “ the Premier asked during his speech.

“We are proceeding with this project to benefit the public.The people’s representatives from the area, including Ministers Sarath Amunugama, Lakshman Kiriella and Rauff Hakeem are aware of this reality.There are business tycoons who want to deprive the public of these benefits,” he stressed.

“There are some elements who act as agents to foreign companies behind the scenes.For agents of that nature, Rs. 25 Billion is a colossal loss. Everyone should understand that using their media strength to advance hidden business agendas is an unethical act,” the Prime Minister added.

At this juncture, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Ministers make their assets and liabilities declaration to the President by handing it over to the Presidential Secretariat.

“We cant be blamed despite the fact that we have make our declaration,” Minister Jayasekara said. “So we request the Chair to reveal a list of the members who have made the declaration.”

Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Speaker could get a list of the ministers who have made their declarations of assets and liabilities before he reveals the list. He added that the Speaker could do so as the Ministers too are Parliamentarians.

He also said that his party members make a declaration to the Speaker as well as to the Election Commission. “It is suitable because when the assets and liabilities of Shirani Bandaranayake was taken up during the previous regime and most of the Ministers had not made their declarations on the assets and liabilities,” MP Dissanayake said.

“A special lecture was held at the Mahavli Centre to the Ministers on how to make their past declaration on assets and liabilities.”

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that they too are sensitive to the same issue. “We too request the Chair to take a list from the President’s Secretariat and divulge the list to media.” “But the issue is with the media personnel who carry such news,” Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. “The media had carried that only nine MPs had made this declaration.”

MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the media personnel too have to make their and assets and liabilities.

MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the Chair should reveal a list of the MPs who had made declarations. The President would reveal the list of the Ministers who made the declaration of the assets and liabilities.

At this stage, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Chair could get a list of ministers from the Presidential Secretariat as the Ministers too are MPs and then the list be released to the media. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the Ministers too are MPs and that he would act according to the request of the members.

 

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