NCPC in turmoil

Published : 8:46 am  July 19, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (437) reads | 

Mace broken into two  

The Chief Minister and 16 councillors including five from the UPFA and 11 from the UNP unanimously elected UNP councillor as chairman

By Dayarathna embogama 
The North-Central Provincial Council (NCPC) session last morning turned into a mini-battle when a scheduled no-confidence motion against NCPC Chairman T.M.R. Siripala (UPFA) was not  taken up for debate because of the melee though it was later tabled and approved by the opposition with the chairman being removed from his post.

 At the beginning of the meeting UPFA members H.B. Semasinghe and K.H. Nandasena said the PC Secretary had arbitrarily included the no-confidence motion in the agenda despite a decision taken earlier not to take it up for debate yesterday.   
The Chairman said the motion would not be taken up for debate because the secretary had usurped the chairman’s power and presented the motion yesterday and also because the motion’s contents were baseless and it was not presented in keeping with the regulations.


However, the opposition members said the chairman had agreed to take up the motion yesterday  for debate. When the chairman was about to leave the assembly hall after postponing the meeting at about 10.30 am the opposition members circled the chair resulting in a clash between the opposition and the UPFA members who supported the Chairman.

At the time, UNP Councillor D.M.Amaratunga had forcibly sat on the Chairman’s seat and asked Council’s Opposition Leader Anil Ratnayake (UNP) to present the no-confidence motion for  debate despite the supporters of the joint opposition (JO) attempting to disrupt the move.

Meanwhile, the motion was passed and soon after Mr. Amaratunga suspended the sessions until 2 p.m. yesterday. When the sessions resumed at 2 p.m. the mace was taken away by UPFA councillor Siripala to the Chairman’s office, resulting in the Sergent-at-arms lodging a complaint to the Police about the removal of the mace. Later the, police personnel accompanied by UNP councillors, entered the chairman’s office to take back the mace and in the melee the mace had been broken into two.

The session was again suspended until 3.00 pm. yesterday. When the session was resumed  UNP councillor D.M. Amaratunga was unanimously elected as the Council’s Chairman by 17 votes, which included 11 UNP councillors, five UPFA councillors and Chief Minister Peshala Jayaratne. They were the councillors present at the time.

Later, Mr. Amaratunga was sworn in as the NCPC Chairman by Provincial Governor PB Dissanayake.