slam brawling MPs
The disgraceful behaviour of members of parliament in the House
last week has prompted at least two business chambers to issue statements
expressing deep concern over their antics and the implications for
parliamentarians seem to think that shouting insults and pushing
and shoving each other on the floor of the House is more important
than what they were elected for - to debate and enact laws. Ruling
party MPs may have had legitimate reasons to oppose the monk from
the JHU taking his oath as a new member of parliament but their
opposition could have been expressed in a dignified manner.
it is, parliament is known to take a long time to pass laws and
there are many important new laws and amendments to existing ones
that have been pending for months, if not years. The business community,
and especially foreign investors, have been eagerly awaiting the
passage of these laws which are required for creating a conducive
environment for business to flourish in the island. Also a crucial
statement on the government's economic policies which was expected
to be made this month by Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama will
now be postponed for another month.
behaviour of our MPs and the resulting delays in passing urgently
needed legislation is detrimental to economic progress and creates
a bad image of the country, especially among foreign investors whose
funds we need if economic growth is to be accelerated to the levels
required to make any serious dent in poverty and unemployment.
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has pointed out that the incidents that
occurred in Parliament last week "deprives the legislature
of valuable time for the enactment of important legislation and
in particular, the legislative enactments required for economic
is another serious issue that arises from the disgusting behaviour
of our MPs in parliament. How can the government maintain law and
order among the public when lawmakers themselves ignore the rules
of their own workplace - parliament - and indulge in the kind of
behaviour commonly associated with schoolboy hooligans?
the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said, pledging its support for every
action taken to maintain good conduct in the Parliament: "Without
such conduct, efforts to establish law, order and discipline in
the country will be futile."
National Chamber of Exporters, in its statement, said current trends
in the law and order situation "would erode the very fabric
of the export sector and the business community."
business community is also deeply concerned that two months after
being elected, the government is yet to fill many vacancies in government
ministries, boards and other organisations.
is held up at key organisations such as the Public Enterprises Reform
Commission where a full commission has not been appointed yet and
no clear policy enunciated.
the NCE said in its statement: "No decisions are being taken,
having a "snow balling" effect on economic progress across
the board. The negative effects are already being felt by our member
we welcome and endorse the sentiments expressed by the chambers
with regard to the behaviour of parliamentarians, we would like
to point out that their case is weakened by their apparent reluctance
to formally call for businessmen, or even their own members, to
stop funding political parties and politicians.
may be unrealistic to expect businessmen to stop funding politicians
as it is well known they do so because they can expect favours and
lucrative government contracts when their favourite politicians
win power. But even a gesture would go a long way in sending a message
to politicians as unscrupulous and vulgar as those whose behaviour
we saw last week. A threat, especially a collective one, to cut
off their funds would make even the most thick-skinned politician