COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is slated to make his inaugural address to Parliament on January 3 during a ceremonial sitting before the new session commences later that day.
He is the first Sri Lankan President to be elected to office without having served as an MP prior to his election in the November 16 polls, the Daily Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The new session will commence ending the prorogation of Parliament which took place on December 2.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayaka will welcome the President when he arrives for the ceremonial sitting of the Legislature which will be followed by hoisting of the national flag. This will be followed by the 21-gun salute.
The President will chair the inaugural session which will commence at 10 a.m. where he will deliver the statement of the new government’s policy and will suspend the House thereafter.
The first-ever session of the Sri Lankan Parliament was held on October 14, 1947. It was ceremonially opened and presided over by Governor Henry Monck-Mason Moore.
He delivered the throne speech, which was debated by Parliament and passed by a vote of thanks, said the Daily Financial Times.
The third session of the second Parliament was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on April 12, 1954.
With the enactment of the new Constitution in 1978, the government’s policy statement given by the President replaced the throne speech.