An attempt was made by UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake to bring in this private motion for debate today. However, it was turned down. He had proposed that a President or a Prime Minister should refrain from holding other ministerial portfolios. Objections were raised from the government group that it should not be taken up for debate. Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said that powers of the President and the Prime Minister will come in for deliberation through this motion. Therefore it cannot be taken up for debate.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wikcremasinghe said that there are no obstacles for debating the motion. John Amaratunge queried that this only a resolution and asked how it cannot be debated. Parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwar responding to the query said the hour of the President will be discussed in this motion and it contravenes the Constitution. The Speaker said it should be further perused and ordered that the second private members motion be taken up for debate.
Meanwhile Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena assured parliament that the Government will continue to provide the fertilizer subsidu. He was responding to a query made from the Agricultural Minister. Parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake queried whether a decision has been taken to refrain from giving fertilizer subsidy for those who harvest less than 500 kilograms. The Minster said that no such restrictions have been imposed.