|Truant TNA MP loses
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
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