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Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday told Parliament that he would give a ruling on police arresting Parliamentarians without informing the Speaker after studying the rulings given by his predecessors.

The Speaker made this announcement following the observations and statements made by MPs on police arresting UNP MP Tissa Attanayake early yesterday.

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva said that police had taken MP Attanayake into their custody and such arrests of MPs could not be made without informing the Speaker in advance.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne: I was arrested in 1994, but no permission was obtained by police from the then Speaker before I was taken into custody.

MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara: I, too, was arrested in 1971, but the police had obtained the permission from the then Speaker before doing so.

Justice Deputy Minister Sujeewa Serasinghe: This is an important matter, Speaker. We request you to consider the precedence because that would be very important for all MPs alike.

Power and Energy State Minister Palitha Range Bandara: There is no mentioning anywhere as far as I know that prior approval of the Speaker should be sought when police arrest an MP on a criminal charge. I would like to know where it is mentioned if there is any such order.

MP Susil Premajayantha: Informing the Speaker before arresting an MP is a tradition. We should be abiding by traditions of Parliament.

Speaker Rajapaksa: I was not in the country when MP Range Bandara was arrested. But, I later came to know of the arrest from the Deputy Speaker. I will study this matter and see how the previous Speakers addressed it and let the House know my ruling soon.

 

 
 
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