Fracas in Parliament: Damage to books being assessed | Sunday Observer

Fracas in Parliament: Damage to books being assessed

Insurance officials are still trying to assess the damage to certain valuable books that were destroyed by MPs at the recent free-for-all in the House, a senior official at the parliamentary complex said.

However, the badly damaged sound system of the Legislative chamber, has now been restored by the supplier company with the insurance agent agreeing to foot the bill on behalf of Parliament’s Director Finance, he said, adding that the work involved replacement of several broken microphones and cables. The MPs who were upset at the Speaker deciding to take a vote on a No Confidence Motion which they said broke parliamentary tradition, on November 14, walked to his chair and dismantled his microphone and the cables.

The No Confidence motion was moved against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Later, the Speaker’s chair was thrown into a corner and the table on which the ceremonial Mace is placed was seen lying in the well of the Chamber with several MPs surfing the net on their mobile phones seated on the toppled table.The glass panes of the Parliament officials’ cubicle were also shattered amidst the hullabaloo. The in-house riot continued for a second day on November 16.

“We have sought expert opinion to assess the damage to these old very valuable volumes of books that are irreplaceable and it will take time,” the sources said, adding that the damage to the sound system has been estimated at around Rs. 300,000.While most of the damaged property has now been restored, minor work such as re-polishing of damaged chamber furniture, is yet to be completed.

A former Sergeant-at-Arms Anil Parakrama Samarasekera said he had not seen Sri Lankan MPs behaving in such an unruly manner in his entire 22-year tenure.

The only instance when insurance agents were called to Parliament previously was to assess the damage during the 2010 floods.

Comments