Following a request by the government yesterday, United National Party (UNP) deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya was compelled to withdraw his private member’s Bill, which called for the freedom of access to official information.
When Mr. Jayasuriya presented this Bill in parliament at the beginning of public business, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said the government was drafting such a Bill and therefore it was not possible to entertain Mr. Jayasuriya’s Bill.
“The government is working out a Bill. Therefore, we cannot accept the one presented by Mr. Jayasuriya. But he can give suggestions to be incorporated in the proposed Bill. We are ready to discuss the matter,” he said.
Mr. Jayasuriya said he presented the Bill with good intentions, and therefore asked the government not to reject it.
Mr. Gunawardene responded saying that the government could initiate a dialogue with the UNP if his private members’ Bill was withdrawn.
“Please withdraw this Bill. Then, we can talk. This is not a matter for confrontation,” he said.