Ceremonial opening of Parliament sans gun salutes and motorcades

Ceremonial opening of Parliament sans gun salutes and motorcades

The ceremonial opening of Parliament on Wednesday will be held sans gun salutes and motorcades.

The Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament is scheduled to be ceremonially declared open on 08.02.2023 by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The rehearsal pertaining to the ceremonial opening was held today (2023.02.06) at the Parliament premises to which many were present including students of Presidents’ Girls College, Kotte.

Following the ceremonial opening of the session the President is scheduled to present the Statement of Government Policy in Parliament at 10.00 am according to the powers vested in him under Article 33 of the Constitution.

Given the instructions of the President, arrangements have been made to hold the ceremonial opening of the fourth session as a formal ceremony and thus, gun salutes and motorcades will not be held, Serjeant at Arms Narendra Fernando said.

He said that the invited guests have been told to take their seats by 09.15 am on 08.02.2023.

Following the arrival of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and his wife, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will arrive, followed by the arrival of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the first lady.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake will receive President Ranil Wickremesinghe near the main steps of the Parliament building.

The Speaker and the Secretary General of Parliament led by the Serjeant at Arms, Deputy Serjeant at Arms and Assistant Serjeant at Arms will escort the President to the Parliament House.

On that occasion, the students of President Girls’ College, Kotte will sing Jayamangala Gatha and bless the President and the Parliament.

The President will then arrive at the Robing Room and stay there until approximately 9.55 am and according to tradition, the Deputy Serjeant at Arms, the Serjeant at Arms carrying the Mace, the President followed by the Speaker, the Secretary Generals of Parliament and the Assistant Serjeant at Arms will enter the chamber.

Upon entering the chamber, the Deputy Serjeant at Arms will announce “Honorable President” and the members of the ruling party and opposition will stand and salute keeping in accordance with tradition. The President who enters the chamber presides over the House and at this time the Speaker sits with the Secretariat in the lower seat as during the Committee Stage.

After the President presents the Statement of Government Policy, the House will be adjourned until 9.30 am on 09.02.2023. Following adjournment, a tea party has been organized for the invited guests including diplomats. (Colombo Gazette)

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