Fourth Session of Parliament to be held on 3rd January 2020

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According to the gazette notification signed by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday, the fourth session of the 8th Parliament is due to commence on the 3rd of January 2020. With the signing of the gazette notification, the third session of the 8th Parliament marked its closure.

Since 1947 the Parliament had been prorogued fifty times and after the year 1978, 25 new parliamentary sessions had been held.

Once the parliament is prorogued the speaker will continue and his duties will not end. Accordingly the duty that has to be carried out from the new term will be able to proceed from the current stage.

When the term ends and a new session begin, it is ceremonially opened by the President. The President has the power to present Policy Statement of the Government. In the past it was known as the Throne Speech. It was presented by the Governor. According to the current practice, it is neither debated nor put to the vote.

Although the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament ended yesterday (02), Select Committee of Parliament to study and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure Communal and Religious Harmony in Sri Lanka chaired by the Speaker and the Select Committee of Parliament to study and report to Parliament its recommendation to ensure National Evaluation Capacity in Sri Lanka chaired by the Deputy Speaker is still in function.

In addition, the Committee on High Posts and all the following Sectoral Oversight Committees in Parliament continue to function.

  1. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Lands
  2. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Business and Commerce
  3. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Economic Development
  4. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources Development
  5. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy
  6. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Health and Human Welfare, Social Empowerment
  7. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Internal Administration and Public Management
  8. Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations
  9. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media
  10. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Manufacturing and Services
  11. Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security
  12. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Reconciliation and North & East Reconstruction
  13. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Sustainable Development and Environment and Natural Resources
  14. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Transport and Communication
  15. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Women and Gender
  16. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Heritage

The following Committees for Special Purposes; The Committee on Parliamentary Business, the Committee on Standing Orders, the House Committee, the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, the Legislative Standing Committee, the Ministerial Consultative Committee, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Enterprises, the Committee on Public Finance, the Committee on Public Petition and the Backbencher Committee have ceased to function during the recess or prorogation of Parliament. The committees will be reconstituted at the commencement of each Session of Parliament.

Article 74 of the Constitution recognizes the power to appoint Committees in Sri Lanka and thereby to regulate the sittings of Parliament subject to the provisions of the Constitution empowering the Parliament to make Standing Orders for the purpose of safeguarding discipline at Parliamentary meetings, and for any matter that is required by the Constitution to be enacted or enforced.