Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
The maiden session of the 8th parliament of Sri Lanka took place yesterday. SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem congratulated the Speaker and made a brief address.
Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to extend to you the wishes on behalf of my party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. On this occasion, I have no doubt whatsoever that your keen sense of impartiality would ensure that this House will have the leadership that is required to take this away from the unfortunate perception about the manner in which we conducted deliberations in the past. I am sure, our Prime Minister’s objective of converting the Consultative Committees of Parliament into oversight bodies and through which to grant more powers to all Hon. Members on both sides of the divide is to exercise the bounden duty of being the watchdog of public finance of this nation.
Sir, it is my fervent wish that you would be able, during your stewardship of this House, with the co-operation of both the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, to do away with the culture, rather the norm of observing the Standing Orders in its breach, or ensure that that would be done only in exceptional situaitons.
Therefore, it is my fervent hope, Hon. Speaker, now that you at this important juncture in our nation’s history are in charge of this august Assembly through which all of us, Hon. Members belonging to different ethnic groups, would be able to celebrate the diversity of this nation through dignified manner in which we conduct ourselves during deliberations in this august Assembly. Sir, it is once again my pleasure to wish you all the very best in your office which you have now been entrusted with.
Thank you very much.