MPs mainly borrow fiction books, show lack of preparation

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, expressing his disappointment at the lack of preparation of lawmakers for the speeches they deliver in the House, revealed that only 330 books were borrowed by MPs in the year 2021.

He revealed it during the second session of the 9th legislature, Tuesday, January 18.

According to information provided by the Library of Parliament, 122 of the books borrowed were fiction.

Meanwhile, 94 of the books borrowed were on political science and 27 on sociology. Only 11 books on economy, 5 books on science, 4 books on law, 3 books on technology, 1 book on education and 1 book on Sinhalese literature have been borrowed by members, the chairman added. .

He stressed that this is “embarrassing” for a Chamber composed of 225 deputies.

“This lack of preparation and knowledge on the subjects has led to insults, lies, false allegations, unparliamentary language being part of speeches, and most speeches and statements being made to gain political ground rather than to guide the state. This eventually escalates into disgraceful unparliamentary conduct.

The president told lawmakers that once they cross the bar of the House, they are all considered honorable members of the House of Parliament.

This honorable title requires parliamentarians to speak and behave accordingly, in a respectable manner, which in turn reflects on the House, he pointed out.

“When I first spoke in Parliament, it was after weeks of preparation, reading in the library and watching and listening to speakers such as the late Honorable Gamini Dissanayake, Ranasinghe Premadasa, Lalith Athulathmudali, etc. As new members, we wanted to give our best impression of ourselves at home because it would have been a shame to do otherwise.

However, at present, very few MPs prepare their speeches in advance, send the library back or talk about the facts, he said.

Abeywardena said that as President it was his responsibility to lead the House productively and ensure the rights of all members. The House, its Rules and other procedures are designed to facilitate this, assuming that its members will conduct themselves honourably, he added.

He reiterated that all House legislators must understand that upholding the dignity of Parliament is the most sacred duty of all. “If people lose faith in this House, that means they lose faith in democracy,” he explained.

The repercussions of this will be severe for all political parties and citizens of this country, he said, urging all parliamentarians to understand this and to have the national interest and the interest of all those whom they represent in all areas, putting aside the petty political dramas inside the House. .

“The people of this country are facing serious difficulties and they expect the government and members of the opposition to act responsibly, like statesmen and women. I urge you all to help me rebuild the image of this institution and to discuss with me how we can achieve this. I expect the two Chief Whips to act more responsibly and guide their respective sides.

The President also presented several drafted proposals for discussion and adoption, in order to improve the quality of debates and the conduct of Members.

● An independent research and analysis office specifically tasked with providing MPs with independent advice on budget and performance

● Discussions and presentations by industry experts on topics such as economics, technology, management, leadership, sociology and any other related topics that any member may request to take place in the evening after the sessions have ended parliamentarians

● Language and educational facilities for members who wish to master another language or pursue further studies


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