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News


Truant TNA MP loses Parliament seat

By Munza Mushtaq
The Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), more commonly known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has decided to take disciplinary action against Jaffna District MP M.K. Eelaventhan for not following proper procedure and failing to inform Parliament and the party that he would be out of the country for more than four months.

ITAK General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah told The Nation that they have learnt that Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara and the Parliament Secretary General are reported to have informed Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake that Eelaventhan’s seat is vacant.

“According to Parliamentary regulations, if a MP fails to inform Parliament beforehand and is absent for more than three months, he automatically loses his seat,” Senathirajah said.
He added that a letter seeking an explanation about the ITAK MP’s actions has already been sent. “We too were unaware that he had left the country for such a long period,” the ITAK General Secretary said.

The party is however yet to decide on whom it would appoint to the vacant seat. “We are awaiting an official letter informing us about the vacant seat, after which we will decide on whom to appoint,” he added.

Eelaventhan is reported to have travelled to Malaysia and Canada a few months back. He is now in the country but had not attended Parliament even on Friday during the crucial third Budget vote.
“We are disturbed by his actions. He was in the country, but did not attend Parliament. Even a single vote at a crucial time like this is important to all,” Senathirajah added.

Though the MP in question was present at the Parliament library on the day of the third reading of the Budget, he was not allowed to enter the chamber on a ruling by the Speaker.
It has been reported that the government had even viewed television footage of the House, proceeding to ascertain that Eelaventhan was absent for more than three months.

They also inquired from the Immigration and Emigration Controller about the dates of his departure from the country and his arrival in order to determine the period of absenteeism from Parliament, to deny him from voting at the third reading of the Budget.

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