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Early termination of World Bank project raises eyebrows

Jul 9, 2010 5:42:05 AM - thesundayleader.lk

On Wednesday disruption occurred as UNP MPs protested the early termination of a World Bank funded support project.

UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya argued the issue fell under the Privileges Act. “This affects us all. Why won’t you let us state it?” Jayasuriya queried. Jayasuriya cited Article 147 which states that Parliament is vested with power when it comes to matters of public finance.

The World Bank was supplying funding and support to the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). However, UNP MPs alleged that the World Bank project was suddenly terminated a year early. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said a letter had been sent to the officers, who had not been able to report to work since Tuesday. Speaker Chamal Rajapakse said he would look into the matter, but added that he did not think the issue could be relevant under the Privileges Act. UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said, “This move entails Parliamentarians don’t have adequate access to proper advice and information that they otherwise would have. The stoppage will break the backs of the staff on the committee.”