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President Wickremesinghe to Open Fifth Session of Ninth Parliament today

February 07, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to ceremonially open the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament on Wednesday (7), marking the commencement of parliamentary proceedings. The President, following the formal opening, will present the Statement of Government Policy at 10.30 am in accordance with the constitutional powers vested in him under Article 33.

In adherence to the President’s instructions, the Ceremonial Opening will be conducted as a formal ceremony, omitting gun salutes and motorcades, as confirmed by Kushan Jayaratne, Serjeant at Arms.

The scheduled sequence of events includes the arrival of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and the Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, followed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the First Lady. The President will be received near the main steps of the Parliament building by the Speaker and the Secretary General of Parliament, Kushani Rohanadeera.

Traditionally, after arriving at the Robing Room, the President will stay there until around 10.25 am. Following tradition, the Deputy Serjeant at Arms, carrying the Mace, will announce the entrance of the President into the chamber, where members of the ruling party and opposition will stand and salute.

During the President’s presentation of the Statement of Government Policy, he will preside over the House, with the Speaker sitting in the lower seat as during the Committee Stage. The House will be adjourned until 9.30 am on 08.02.2024 after the President concludes the presentation.

A tea party has been organized for invited guests, including foreign diplomats, former presidents, the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Secretary of Defense, Commanders of the three-armed forces, and the Acting Inspector General of Police.

President Wickremesinghe had prorogued the Parliament on January 26, 2024, in accordance with Article 70 (1) of the Constitution. With the commencement of the Fifth Session on February 7, any unresolved questions and motions from the previous session will be revisited, and committees, excluding specific ones, will be reconstituted as per standing orders. The Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament, which concluded on January 26, saw 106 days of parliamentary proceedings.

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