"Don't Behave Like A Hooligan": Heated Verbal Exchange Between Johny And Madduma Bandara At Party Leaders Meeting

February 20, 2021

A heated verbal exchange had broken out between Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando and Samagi Jana Balawegaya General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara during the party leaders meeting last Thursday.

The meeting, chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, largely focused on the report by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCOI) on political victimization.

Representatives of the opposition, including Madduma Bandara, urged the Speaker to table the report in Parliament as it had been presented to the President nearly two weeks ago. Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando reacted to this request strongly, reminding them he conduct of former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

"It is not relevant here. If Jayasuriya's conduct was erroneous, why would you want to commit the same mistakes," Madduma Bandara asked.

He also accused Fernando of behaving like a "hooligan" at the party leaders meeting, political sources said. Fernando responded to this remark saying that the representatives of the opposition were behaving like "babies" after their acts of political victimisation were exposed before the commission.

However, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake urged the Speaker to write a letter to the Presidential Secretariat requesting a copy of the report. The Speaker, in response, promised that he would look into the matter.

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