7/02/2010

MPs be careful! Speeches in Sri Lanka parliament to go online immediately

(July 02, 2010, Colombo - Lanka PolityOnce in a blue moon, the ruling party of Sri Lanka also moots some commendable proposals. For example, a proposal has been mooted by the ruling party suggesting that the speeches delivered by the parliamentarians should be released online immediately.

The proposal has been submitted to the Speaker by the Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardhana on behalf of the ruling party.

The proposal is pending approval of the Speaker.

Parliamentary speeches can be read in hansard but they are not immediately released and also are not easily accessible for the public. No credible online source is available regarding the speeches delivered in parliament sans media reports that have been subjected to severe editing.

Making parliamentary speeches online will also make the MPs more careful and prepared regarding the speeches they make in the parliament. If you make a sloppy statement, it will go online immediately and will follow the searches under your name.

One time reputed scholars now speaking in the parliament like ignorant peasants or urban villains, possible to match and to be comprehensible to the other lot in the House may also have opportunity either to polish or blemish their names.

Many a MP, both government and opposition, do not deliver speeches with any kind of value during the whole period they should be representing their constituencies. Some even do not attend parliamentary sessions regularly and report to duty once in three months to avoid vacation of post.

Recently, a large group of councilors of all three major parties including Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) members lost their posts in the Western Provincial Council due to absence for three months. But all were in an unprecedented unity to bring a new law to safeguard their positions.

For most of the MPs, even for the radicals like the ones in JVP perceive the membership of the parliament as only a chance to have a package of perks and benefits.

Parliament should not be a mere talk shop. It is the place from where the laws are derived. Its members are law makers, although many in the present context have no idea regarding this basic principle of democracy.
Therefore, be careful of your tongues men because you are to go online.

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