Dhammika Perera sworn in as Member of Parliament

Business magnate Dhammika Perera took oath as a Member of Parliament before Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today (June 22).

The parliamentary session commenced at 10.00 a.m. this morning.

Perera’s name was proposed to the Election Commission to fill the National List parliamentary seat vacated by the resignation of former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

Accordingly, the election body gazetted his name on June 10, as a Member of Parliament from Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Dhammika Perera also obtained the membership of SLPP from the party’s general secretary after officially submitting his consent to accept parliamentary membership.

He has stepped down from the board memberships of all his companies ahead of taking oaths as a Member of Parliament.

Further, the business tycoon is tipped to take up a ministerial portfolio related to the investment sector after entering the parliament through the SLPP.

On June 09, a special gazette notification was published by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, creating two new portfolios titled Minister of Technology and Investment Promotion and Minister of Women, Child Affairs & Social Empowerment.

A total of 15 departments, statutory institutions and public corporations including the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Department of Registration of Persons and Board of Investment have been listed under the Ministry of Technology and Investment Promotion.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday rejected granting leave to proceed with the five fundamental rights (FR) petitions challenging the appointment of Dhammika Perera as a Member of Parliament.

The petitions were taken up before a three-judge bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Yasantha Kodagoda and Arjuna Obeysekera.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, who leads the three-judge bench, said that it would not grant leave to proceed with the petitions pursuant to the decision of the majority of the bench.

Earlier this month, several individuals and organisations including the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director had filed FR applications challenging the appointment of Dhammika Perera to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as a Member of Parliament elected under Article 99A of the Constitution (the National List).

Later, Dhammika Perera had undertaken not to take oath as a Member of Parliament or a Minister until the Supreme Court decides on granting leave to proceed with the petitions filed before courts against his appointment to the parliament. – ada derana

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