Dayasiri raises privileges over attending PSC | Sunday Observer

Dayasiri raises privileges over attending PSC

SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said he will not appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday Bomb attacks on Wednesday (10) as he is awaiting a ruling from the Speaker on the President’s letter which should have been tabled in Parliament.

Jayasekara was previously called to appear before the PSC to give evidence in relation to the Easter Sunday attacks. The parliamentarian during dialogues with media commented that the bombers refrained from attacking a certain hotel as there were persons of interest in the premises.

When Parliament convenes on July 9, I will raise this matter under parliamentary privileges hoping a response from the Speaker, MP Jayasekara told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

However, Deputy Speaker and PSC Chairman Ananda Kumarasiri said that at the last PSC meeting, he had instructed the Secretariat to summon MP Jayasekara again to the PSC on July 10.

Asked whether any action could be taken against Jayasekara if he fails to turn up as requested by the PSC, the Deputy Speaker said once the PSC summons a witness, he has to appear before it. If he fails to comply, there are certain sections in the Standing Orders where we can take action against him.

Jayasekara said the Attorney General had sent a letter to the President’s Secretary on June 4 and the latter had referred it to the Speaker. It is the tradition for the Speaker to table in Parliament letters sent by the President. However, the letter in question was not tabled in Parliament.

He said that letter had clearly stated that PSC proceedings would have a serious impact on cases filed in the Supreme Court, and it could be a problem for the aggrieved parties. Therefore, he had requested the Speaker to take appropriate action in this connection.

MP Jayasekara said in this situation, the Speaker should table this letter in Parliament and give a ruling on the issue. “As a parliamentarian, I have not done anything wrong. Rather I have abided by parliamentary privileges and Standing Orders.”

He said according to Standing Orders (clause 36 E) Parliament cannot take up any matter that is sub judice. I have observed it to the very letter. “Is this the reason I am going to be punished by the Supreme Court? All we ask is to table the President’s letter in Parliament and get an independent ruling from the Speaker so that I will appear before the PSC the next day. I have many things to reveal before the PSC.” He said the PSC should act rightly, and not act as they wish and give clearance to individuals.