J-Biz urges Speaker to discipline MPs
J-Biz, the umbrella organization of the biggest chambers in Colombo, has blasted members of parliament who were involved in the recent fiasco with the legislation and urged the Speaker to take serious disciplinary action against the miscreants.

In a statement, J-Biz said the "abominable behaviour' displayed by many members at the last session of Parliament on June 8 which included verbal abuse and assault on certain members of the Buddhist Clergy has been viewed with serious concern by Sri Lankans.

"Never before in the history of our Parliamentary democracy have we witnessed such disgusting behaviour in our highest legislative body," it said adding that it was unfortunate that three of the four parliamentary sessions have been disrupted by unruly behaviour of some MPs.

J-Biz appealed to all party leaders to take disciplinary action against any member guilty of unacceptable conduct in Parliament instead of mere lip service being paid in condemnation of actual events, for public consumption.

While noting that, "no serious deliberations have taken place during four sessions of the new parliament," J-Biz said MPs do not appear to be aware that adverse international economic factors are seriously affecting the country with global oil prices escalating.

Prices of wheat and other food grains are also increasing globally and the sole marketers have already requested that the government pay the agreed subsidy, J-Biz said adding that while the rupee has rapidly depreciated in recent weeks, the GDP growth rate for 2004 projected earlier by the Central Bank as 6% has been revised twice and reduced to 5% .

It said it was imperative for parliament to be able to function as an effective legislative body if the government is to proceed with negotiations with the LTTE.

J-Biz, while congratulating the government for appointing well qualified and experienced people to fill important government posts, also requested that early steps be taken to appoint high calibre individuals to fill many other vacant posts.

Referring to recent reports of large-scale discontinuance of senior staff at the BOI, it said this may send wrong signals to foreign investors whose first point of contact is the BOI. "We are not implying that the new government should not take action against any corrupt or inefficient staff but to do so without generating undue publicity which could have an overall negative impact on Sri Lanka's investor friendly image," the statement said.

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