A round-table discussion on ‘Speaker’s Role and Office’ was conducted by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy with the participation of the Members of Parliament on the Chairman’s Panel and Senior Officials of the Parliament on 16 and 17 February 2017 in Negombo.
The prime objective was for Members of Parliament on the Chairman’s Panel to deepen their knowledge of the relevant Standing Orders and practices relating to Presiding Officers and to understand how other Parliaments approach similar challenges and opportunities. A delegation of UK parliamentarians and officials helped share United Kingdom experience and expertise about the role of Presiding Officers in Westminster style Parliaments.
The Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament noted the importance of such exchanges for expertise sharing, knowledge gaining and relationship building, amongst MPs, officials and Parliaments.
The inaugural session was graced by the presence of the Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Deputy Chairman of Committees, the Hon. Former Speaker, Members of Parliament on the Chairman’s Panel and Secretary General of Parliament. Baroness Frances D'Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016, Sir Nicholas Winterton, Senior Member formerly of the House of Commons Chairman's Panel, Crispin Poyser, Table Clerk, and Robin Ramsey, Adviser to the Assembly Speaker formed part of the UK delegation.
The Secretary General of Parliament acknowledged the support of Westminster Foundation for Democracy for its on-going collaboration with the Sri Lanka Parliament.