Ninth Parliament will follow strict health regulations - DSG Parliament Neil Iddawela | Sunday Observer

Ninth Parliament will follow strict health regulations - DSG Parliament Neil Iddawela

The Secretary General of Parliament will ensure that the Members of Parliament will follow Covid-19 health regulations when the ninth Parliament is inaugurated on August 20; however, after the Speaker is appointed it is up to him and the leaders of political parties to control their members, Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary General of Parliament Neil Iddawela said.

The ninth Parliament will meet on Thursday, August 20, under strict health measures introduced to keep the Covid-19 pandemic at bay. The Covid-19 preparedness plan for Parliament was issued this week to ensure the safety of everyone.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will present the Policy Statement at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Historic event

“This is a historic event. This is the first time we are convening Parliament in this manner,” Iddawala said referring to Covid-19 regulations.

He said all members are required to attend Parliament on Thursday. Thereafter, the House will decide if the sessions could be moved to virtual platforms.

Parliament will arrange facilities for thermal screening at all entrances including those for Members of Parliament, provide facilities for hand washing with soap and water preferably with a foot operated tap at the entrance, while alternatively, a standard alcohol based hand sanitiser will be provided.

All those attending Parliament should wear a mask at all times, while all persons in the Chamber should wear face masks at all times and members should not remove or lower the mask when addressing Parliament, Iddawala explained.

Also, members are told to sit only on their designated seats, and whenever members are not seated on their seats, they should maintain a one-metre distance between each other at all times in the Chamber.

Members are discouraged from shaking hands or hugging, and asked to adopt ‘non-touch techniques’ to greet one another.

In case an infected person is detected he or she will be sent to an isolation room and the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health will be contacted or a ‘Suwasariya’ ambulance called to seek medical assistance.

Proclamation by President

“The proceedings in Parliament will continue as usual,” Iddawala said. “It will commence with a Proclamation issued by the President that will be read by the Secretary-General of Parliament,” he said.

This will be followed by the election of a Speaker, who will then take his or her oath before Parliament, which will be administered by the Secretary-General.

Thereafter, the election of the Deputy Speaker, the Chair of Committees, and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees will follow.

As is the norm Government members will sit on the right side and Opposition members on the left.

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SPEAKERS LIST 1931- 2020

* Sir Francis Molamure July 7, 1931 -December 10, 1934

* Sir Forester Obeyesekere December 11, 1934 - December 7, 1935

* Sir Vaitialingm Duraiswamy March 17, 1936 - July 4, 1947

* Sir Francis Molamure October 14, 1947 - January 25, 1951

* Sir Albert F. Peries February 13, 1951 - April 8, 1952

* Sir Albert F. Peries June 9, 1952 - February 18, 1956

* H. S. Ismail April 19, 1956 - December 5, 1959

* T. B. Subasinghe March 30, 1960 - April 23, 1960

* R. S. Pelpola August 5, 1960 - January 24, 1964

* Hugh Fernando January 24, 1964 - December 17, 1964

* Sir Albert F. Peries April 5, 1965 - September 21, 1967

* Shirley Corea September 27, 1967 - March 25, 1970

First Republican Constitution promulgated in 1972

* Stanley Tillekeratne June 7, 1970 - May 22, 1972 / and May 22, 1972 - May 18, 1977

* Dr. Anandatissa de Alwis August 4, 1977 - September 7, 1978 and September 7, 1978- September 13, 1978

* M. A. Bakeer Markar September 21, 1978 - August 30, 1983

* E. L. Senanayake September 6, 1983 - December 20, 1988

* M. H. Mohamed March 9, 1989 - June 24, 1994

* K. B. Ratnayake August 25, 1994 - August 18, 2000

* Anura Bandaranaike October 18, 2000- October 10, 2001

* Joseph Michael Perera December 19, 2001- February 7, 2004

* W. J. M. Lokubandara April 22, 2004 - February 9, 2010

* Chamal Rajapaksa , April 22, 2010 - June 6, .2015

* Karu Jayasuriya September 1, 2015 - March 2, 2020

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