President ceremonially opens Parliament today
The ceremonial opening of third session of the Ninth Parliament will be held today (3) under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The rehearsal pertaining to the ceremonial opening was held yesterday (2) at the Parliament premises and officers of the Tri-Forcesand the police, students of Devi Balika College, Colombo were present.
Following the ceremonial opening of the new session, President Ranil Wickremesinghe will present the government’s policy statement at 10.30 a.m in accordance with the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution.
Arrangements have been made to hold the ceremony in a simple manner. Thus, there will be no gun salutes or car parades, Sergeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando said. The President will be received in front of Parliament with a Tri-Forces Guard of Honour. The President’s flag will not be hoisted and only the National Flag will be hoisted.
The arrival of the invited guests will take place tomorrow at 9.15 am. The arrival of the Members of Parliament will take place first, followed by the arrival of the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayaka will be welcoming the President at the main steps of the Parliament building. The Speaker and the Secretary General of Parliament will then escort the President to Parliament
building along with the Serjeant-at-Arms, Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms and Assistant Serjeant-at-Arms.
Students of Devi Balika College, Colombo will line up for the recital of Jayamangala Gatha at the main entrance of the Parliament Building in welcoming the President.
The President will then come to the Robing room and will be there until 10.25 am. According to the tradition, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms, Sergeant at Arms with the Mace, the President, the Speaker, the Secretaries and the Assistant Sergeant at Arms are paraded and enter the Chamber. Upon entering the chamber, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms says the President and the Members of Parliament stand up and welcome the President according to tradition. After entering the Chamber, the President presides over the sitting and this time, the President’s seat is marked with the State Emblem instead of the President’s official emblem. At this time, the speaker will sit with the secretaries in the lower seat where the speaker sits during the committee stage. Following the presentation of the Government Policy Statement by the President, the House will be adjourned. Afterwards, a tea party has been organized for Members of Parliament and invited guests. Several officials including foreign diplomats, former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chief Justice, Supreme Court Judges, Attorney General, Defence Secretary, Commanders of the Tri-Forces and the Inspector General of Police have been invited to the ceremonial opening of the third session of the Ninth Parliament.
President opts for simple tea party as customary
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested to sponsor the tea party that will be held following the Ceremonial Opening of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament today (3). But Parliament authorities have told the President that it is a customary event of the Parliament and declined to heed the request.
Then the President has told the Parliament officials to organize a simply tea party with traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats such as kevum, milk rice, etc.
President Wickremesinghe has advised the House to cut down expenses of the ceremonial opening. Accordingly, the ceremonial opening will not include salute shots, street lines and parades this year. As a part of cutting down expenses, parliament opted to send e-invitation cards to the invitees for the ceremony as well. All health regulations pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic will be strictly adhered to, he said.