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Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary tradition marks 70th anniversary

Speaker of Bangladesh Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of People’s Majlis of the Maldives, Abdulla Maseech Mohamed, Speaker of Nepal Onsari Gharti Magar, Speaker of Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Speaker of National Assembly of Bhutan Lyonpo Jigme Zangpo, Speaker of Lok Sabha, India, Sumitra Mahajan and SAARC Secretary General Amjad Hussain B. Sial arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport to participate in the 8th SAARC Speakers’ summit in Colombo. Pictures by Sulochana Gama

A special Parliamentary session will be held today to mark the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s unbroken Parliamentary tradition, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said addressing the media in the Parliamentary complex yesterday.

He said Speakers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives and Nepal and their delegates will attend the ceremony.

The Speakers and a number of Parliamentarians of eight SAARC countries have arrived in the country to attend the 8th conference of the Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians (ASSP) to be held in the country from on October 4 to 6. The conference will be chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

“A debate on a joint resolution will be conducted at the special Parliament session to be held today. It will be presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Jayasuriya said.

“The joint resolution proposes that that the assembly has gathered as an independent Parliament for the70th year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Parliament, and that Sri Lanka is the Asia’s oldest Parliamentary democracy with an unbroken record of people exercising their right of franchise,” he said.

The resolution conveys that democratic traditions in Sri Lanka’s Parliament and the rule of law in the country shall be upheld, and prosperity and freedom shall be enjoyed by all its citizens.

The meeting of the Speakers of SAARC states or the Speakers’ Council will be held at Hotel Hilton, Colombo tomorrow from 9.15 am. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe will attend the conference’s inaugural session.

The Speakers’ Council will deliberate on parliamentary procedures and practices of the region, Jayasuriya said.