Parliament to debate Easter report on 10th

  • Women MPs request gender PSC on 9th


The report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday terror attacks on 21 April 2019 is to be debated in Parliament on 10 March.

The Committee on Parliamentary Business, chaired by Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, yesterday (4) decided to commence the debate on the said report from 10 March.

As such, the Government will move the adjournment debate on the said report at 11 a.m. and the debate will go on till 5.30 p.m., according to Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake.

As decided at the committee meeting, next week, Parliament sittings will be held on 9 and 10 March.

Also, on 9 March, the notice of motion by the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus, chaired by State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and Covid Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into and report to the Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality, with special emphasis on gender-based discrimination and violations of women’s rights, is also scheduled to be presented to the Parliament. The motion brought in by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathna will be held from 3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. regarding the violation of women’s rights and the promotion of gender equality.

It has been suggested that the Committee and its Chair should be appointed by the Speaker and that the composition of the proposed Committee should consist of not more than 25 members. The report of the Committee is required to be presented to Parliament within a period of one year from the first meeting of the Committee and once tabled in Parliament, it is expected to be referred to the Minister in charge of the relevant subject to submit their observations, while steps taken with regard to governing the particulars are to be tabled within a period of eight weeks thereafter.

The establishment of this Committee has been proposed primarily in order to address the unresolved issues of discrimination on the basis of gender as well as towards ensuring gender equity and equality are promoted and respected, and to ensure that all women and girls are empowered.

A total of 10 outcomes of the proposed Committee have been set out, including hearing the grievances of women on all sorts of gender-based discriminations, including in employment and promotional opportunities, and harassment in the workplace; reviewing and advocating for the allocation of adequate domestic resources in all sectors and at all levels; and improving access to gender equity and equality.