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The Government called on the public to exercise more care when voting for people’s representatives to the legislature.

Responding to the recent controversy surrounding a brawl inside the Chamber of the Parliament, which led to the hospitalization of an MP, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the general public should ensure that there was constant pressure on those representing them at a national level politically, with regards to the maintenance of ethical conduct.

He added that such was a daily practice in Western countries as well as in certain Asian countries, yet was not the case in Sri Lanka.

According to the Standing Orders of the Parliament and the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act, the MPs involved and responsible could be punished in order to maintain the transparency and standards of the lawmakers, he noted. He pointed out that leaders of the political parties represented in the Parliament who had met in Parliament in the morning of May 05 had decided to release the video clip of the brawl to the media and also the report on the incident prepared by the team led by the Deputy Speaker, thereby affording the public an opportunity to decide on their representatives.

“In the United States of America, the public is very keen on ‘the voting records’ of the Parliamentarians particularly when they contest for elections. This is being practised in India and Bangladesh via the Right to Information laws. But, we don’t have such a practice in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, all the party leaders present at the meeting agreed to assist the investigations conducted by the Police into the incident. All who participated pledged that there would be no impediments to the said investigation. The law which applies to the general public should also apply in this case too,” Samarasinghe remarked.