PARLIAMENT

OF SRI LANKA

SinhalaSriLankaTamil-SriLanka

Order of Business of Parliament

The Business of Parliament is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Order No. 19 in the following order:

 

1.

Official Oath or Affirmation by New Member
Administered by the Hon. Speaker.


2.

Messages from the President
Messages from the President read out by the Hon. Speaker / Hon. Deputy Speaker / Deputy Chairman of Committees or by the Presiding member.


3.

Announcements by the Speaker
The Hon. Speaker makes announcements on all matters relevant to Parliament, such as determinations of the Supreme Court on Bills, certification of Bills, demise of Members of Parliament, names of the Members in the Chairman's Panel, appointments of Committees etc.


4.

Presentation of Papers
Only Hon. Speaker, a Minister or a Deputy Minister can present papers. Annual reports of Corporations and Statutory bodies, Orders, Regulations and Rules are presented.


5.

Presentation of Reports from Committees
Chairmen of the respective Committees shall present reports of Parliamentary Committees. Reports of the Consultative Committees may be presented by the Minister in charge of the subject.


6.

Petitions
Citizens can submit petitions to Parliament through a Member of Parliament to seek redress on administrative grievances. Such petitions are referred to the Committee on Public Petitions for consideration.


7.

Questions
At the Question time, Members of Parliament can put forward oral questions to the Prime Minister or to any Minister with regard to the public affairs according to the subjects and functions assigned to his Ministry. A member can ask only three oral questions per day and the question time is 1.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m.


8.

Votes of Condolence
It is the practice of the House to set apart a day to pass votes of condolences on the demise of Members of Parliament. There is no specific time limit for votes of condolences.


9.

Motions for Leave of Absence
Any Member who may require leave for a continuous period of three months has to obtain the approval of the House. A motion for leave of absence under article 66(f) of the Constitution can be moved by any member in the House at the request of the Member concerned and it has to be seconded if it is not moved by a Minister.


10.

Ministerial Statement
Ministerial Statements are made by Ministers on matters of public importance, policy matters and to correct inaccurate information placed before the House for which the Ministers have responsibility. Prior approval of the Hon. Speaker is necessary to make Ministerial Statements. No questions are allowed at the time the statement is made but a debate may be allowed on a subsequent day.


11.

Personal Explanations
Any member can make a personal explanation when an allegation is made against him/her in the House or on an inaccurate reporting of proceeding of the House in the newspapers. Personal explanations should be made by the affected member in person and members have to obtain the approval of the Hon. Speaker before making such statements.


12.

Questions of Privileges
A Member can raise a matter of privilege in the House after giving due notice to the Hon. Speaker under Standing Order No. 19. However, an urgent motion concerning the privileges of Parliament takes precedence over all other business and the proceedings may be interrupted at any time to raise a matter of privilege.


13.

Motions at the Commencement of Public Business Not Requiring Notice
Motions for change of Sitting hours, suspension of Standing Orders and to refer a matter of privilege to the Committee on Privileges do not require notice and such motions shall be moved by the Leader of the House of Parliament, Chief Government Whip or by a Cabinet Minister.


14.

Motions at the Commencement of Public Business Which Requires Notice
In general, Bills presented at the commencement of Public Business need notice. Government Bills are presented before Motions for Private Members' Bills.


15.

Public Business
Public Business refers to all items for which notice has been given and which are included in the Order Paper for a particular day. It includes Bills, Motions, Regulations, Supplementary Estimates, and Private Members Bills etc.

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Last Updated on 12-02-2013

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