Vote of appreciation:
'Dhammika Kithulgoda maintained procedure of the House'
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided yesterday, when Parliament met at 1
p.m. After presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up
the Vote of Appreciation of the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika
Kithulgoda on his retirement. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena moved the vote
Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh
Gunawardena: Dhammika Kitulgoda was reappointed to the post of Secretary
General of Parliament on August 28, 2010 and retired on February
He was first appointed as the Secretary General of Parliament on
February 15,1999 and remained till July 31,2002. He was Acting Secretary
General of Parliament from March 31,2008 to August 27,2010.
He joined the Judicial Service and was a Magistrate before he was
appointed Secretary General of Parliament. He was also appointed as the
Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission in 1988.
During his service as Magistrate and Secretary to JSC he rendered a
great service to reduce the backlog of cases. He also took measures to
obtain international aid as well to take measures to reduce the backlog
of cases. He obtained US Aid to train personnel in the Judicial Service
for this purpose.
As a law student at the Law College, he was an outstanding student.
He was a talented player in many games such as Rugby, Hockey and Table
Tennis. He was also awarded with colours as the best player of the year.
As a student in Royal College in Colombo, he also was a member of the
Sinhala Literary Association. He led the debating team of the school.
Another remarkable feature of Dhammika Kitulgoda was that he was the
only public servant who was employed in three main organs in the
country, Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary.
He was appointed to the Judicial Service as the youngest Magistrate
and the District Judge.
He was also appointed as the Secretary to the Constitutional Council
and also the Secretary General of Parliament.
He rendered his service when the Parliament flooded in the year 2010,
not as a staff member of Parliament but as a volunteer who worked to
function the procedure of the Parliament.
His wife, Dhammika and two daughters are also attorneys. We wish him
good health in his retirement.
First instance where a JSC member became SG of Parliament, Opp.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe: We had many Secretary
Generals of Parliament who came from the Attorney General's Department.
But this was the first instance where a member of the Judicial Service
joined Parliament as the Secretary General.
Dhammika Kitulgoda had been instrumental in handling Parliamentary
delegation with the coordination of the Speaker. He made a contribution
to ensure that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association session would
be held in Sri Lanka. The position he held was a very significant
position in the country. I wish him a long life and wish him the best. I
also welcome new Secretary General Dhammika Dissanayake to the House.
He had earned many accolades for his impartiality
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena: We must pay due respect for the
person who deserves it. The post of Secretary General of Parliament is
an impartial position. It is the conduct of the person who holds it,
that depicts the impartiality of the post.
Former Secretary General of Parliament Kitulgoda, had earned many
accolades for his impartiality and middle path during critical
junctures. He has a vast experience in the political arena for a long
Kitulgoda is a matured official who committed himself to work.
According to traditions and laws in the government service, public
servants should retire at the age of 60. We have to consider this rule
once again. Many officials have to retire at an age when they reach the
peak period of their service. This deprives the country of their
prolonged service which is very much in need.
He earned the goodwill of his staff
John Amaratunga (UNP): As Chief Opposition Whip, I am extremely happy
to join this debate to bid farewell to the former Secretary General of
Parliament. Dhammika Kitulgoda was a unique personality.
His service was extended not only to the members of both sides of
Parliament, but also to the Parliamentary staff. He had earned the
goodwill of all the staff. He had always been fair and reasonable. We
also welcome the new Secretary General who is another Dhammika.
Chandrakumar Murugesu (UPFA): Dhammika Kitulgoda being a person with
vast experience and knowledge in the judiciary and constitution, was the
right person to be appointed as the Secretary General of Parliament.
This was a very responsible post. There had been times where he had to
take instant and critical decisions. He earned the appreciation of all
for being very fair. He was a very courteous person.
He had to take difficult decisions as the Secretary General of
Parliament than when he was a magistrate.
He had fulfilled his task to his best.
Deputy Chairman of Committees Chandrakumar Murugesu takes the Chair.
Human Resources Senior Minister DEW Gunasekara: I got to know him
when he was a young lawyer. He became popular within a short period,
during his stint as a lawyer. Many thought that he would enter politics.
He had his own political thoughts and policies. Working as the Secretary
General of Parliament, is not easy under the current political scenario.
The work of this position is very complex. The Secretary General of
Parliament constantly provides advice to newly elected young MPs.
Kitulgoda's last official meeting as the Secretary General of
Parliament was the COPE meeting with secretaries of the ministries and
COPE members. This meeting was very successful and it laid the
foundation for a new political tradition.
Kitulgoda was able to fill his duties to a great extent.
Anura Kumara Dissanayake (DNA): Parliament is a democratic
institution which has the room for different ideologies and thoughts.
Therefore, Parliament is often a very active place where heated
arguments take place. In this context, the Secretary General of
Parliament has a crucial role to play. To a great extent, Kitulgoda
could fulfill his duties fairly well during his tenure. We appreciate
Appreciations he earned depict his impartiality
National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva
Nanayakkara: Dhammika Kitulgoda is stepping into a period of relaxation
and happiness with his retirement. Considering his duties, it can be
seen that it was not only a job that he did, but an enormous service.
From his retirement onwards he would not be subjected to this burden
Kitulgoda had a very good heart. His ambition was to see that all
parties were meted out justice. Criticisms he earned from both at the
time of his work and the appreciations he earned at his retirement
depicts his impartiality. We extend our blessings to the newly appointed
Secretary General too.
Joseph Micheal Perera (UNP): Dhammika Kitulgoda was one of my
intimate friends. We worked with a good understanding and rapport. He
had earned the respect of everybody. He had to face stressful period but
he was able to maintain goodwill with all. The person who bears this
post must undergo tremendous responsibility. Kitulgoda did a yeoman
service to Parliament.
Prof Rajiva Wijesinghe (UPFA): The post of Secretary General of
Parliament is the most important position in Parliament, next to the
post of Speaker. Being an MP of the House, I now understand the
importance of the duties he holds more than ever. I commend his
unfailing courtesy when dealing with the Parliamentary Staff as well as
Dayasiri Jayasekara (UNP): Dhammika Kitulgoda was initially a lawyer
and later became a magistrate and served in several magistrate courts in
His performance was always applauded. Maturity and knowledge were
critical in handling the post of Secretary General of Parliament. Former
Secretary General of Parliament Kitulgoda had these qualities more than
many others who held this post prior to him.
He had cordial relations with the staff from higher level to the
lowest level. He was highly concerned over the problems of minor staff
of the Parliament as well.
J R P Suriyapperuma (UPFA): The post of Speaker was introduced in
1931. The strength behind this post was the post of clerk to the
Speaker. Later on, this post was renamed as the Secretary General of
Parliament. The person who holds this post has a key role to play.
We are proud to have had Dhammika Kitulgoda as the Secretary General
of Parliament over the past many years. One specialty of his was that he
was always with a smiling face.
V S Radhakrishnan (UPFA): We wish Dhammika Kitulgoda a happy retired
life. Even though I did not have the opportunity to associate him
closely, by listening to the speeches of other members, I became to
understand that we were losing a very prestigious person.
I wish him a long life in the future. His service to Parliament
should not come to a standstill after retirement, but it should be
continued in the future too.
Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena (UNP): Kitulgoda's service in the field of
judiciary is applaudable and if he continued in this field he could have
ended as the Chief Justice of the country. However, he was appointed as
the Secretary General of Parliament and he did his best while holding
the duties of this post.
He was serving as the Secretary General of Parliament when the 17th
and 18th Amendments to the Constitution were implemented.
Scientific Affairs Minister Prof Tissa Vitarana: Dhammika Kitulgoda
was appointed to the post of Secretary General of Parliament on two
occasions. There had been difficult situations confronting in the House
and Kitulgoda had provided his assistance to the Speaker on each and
every occasion during the past, when his assistance was crucial.
Kitulgoda with his maturity and experience, had the ability to manage
and handle difficult situations. He acted very fairly during these
Gayantha Karunathilake (UNP): Dhammika Kitulgoda was born on February
15, 1952. As a person who shares the same birthday with him, I am
privileged that I got the opportunity to associate him.
I would also like to note that former President D B Wijetunga and
former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike were also born on February 15.
Kitulgoda was a humble and practical person. During the recent floods in
which the Parliament was inundated, he worked tirelessly with other
parliamentary staff to bring the situation under control.
A H M Azwer (UPFA): According to past documents, the Clerk of the
House appointed by the Crown was a very significant post. He was
responsible for the conduct of the members of the House. Dhammika
Kitulgoda held a unique post. He became the youngest magistrate in the
country. He worked tirelessly to ensure the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association meeting in Sri Lanka in September this year. Those
delegations would visit the country in the coming months. Kitulgoda also
initiated a scholarship programme for the children of the Parliamentary
Kitulgoda was impartial, fair and just
Palitha Range Bandara (UNP): While one Dhammika was leaving, another
Dhammika has been appointed. While Kitulgoda was working as a
magistrate, he had earned the respect of the people for his impartial,
fair and just decisions. He had immense commitments to his duty. He
worked honestly and with a strong backbone. He could be reached easily
even though he was very busy.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sumedha Jayasena: As the Parliamentary
Affairs Minister, I worked with him with good coordination. He earned
the goodwill of the staff and was always cordial to everyone. When a
large number of schoolchildren were visiting the House, he took
necessary measures to provide them with the necessary facilities.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa takes the Chair.
Urban Affairs Senior Minister A H M Fowzie: I appreciate the services
rendered by Dhammika Kitulgoda, who retired from the position of the
Secretary General of Parliament. He had about two decades experience in
the judiciary before being appointed to this post. His experience helped
him to carry out his duties well. He is a person of excellence.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena: I am happy that I was
able to join in the Vote of Appreciation on Dhammika Kitulgoda. He was a
very friendly secretary general and a very knowledgeable person, who
rendered his services for the smooth functioning of the proceedings of
Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera: I
have known Dhammika Kitulgoda for a very long period, as he too hailed
from my area. I knew him as an attorney. Everybody knew him as a people-
friendly attorney. He helped the people by appearing for their cases
free of charge. His service to Parliament had been remarkable.
I am sure that the knowledge he had gained in various fields would be
used in the field of politics after his retirement.
Rural Affairs Senior Minister Athauda Senevirate: I am sure that
knowledge and instructions during times when pandemonium broke out in
Parliament would stand him to good stead in his retirement. His
experience was a great support to the Speaker. Parliament was a massive
institute with a large number of people. Among them, there were people
of various calibre.
Some had problems and grievances and somehow it had been a challenge
to cope with them.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa: I agree with the Chief Government Whip,
Opposition Leader and all other members who joined in the Vote of
Appreciation on the retirement of Dhammika Kitulgoda from the office of
Secretary General of Parliament.
I also take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the Members of
Parliament and staff, for the valuable services he had performed.
Fuel adjustment charges will be removed
Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday stated
in Parliament that the fuel adjustment charges added to the electricity
bill would be removed or reduced when the fuel prices in the world
market dropped to provide relief to electricity consumers.
He made this observation in response to an adjournment motion moved
by UPFA MP Shantha Bandara.
Sriyani Wijewickrama takes the Chair
Shantha Bandara (UPFA): A fuel adjustment charge due to the increase
of fuel prices in the world market had to be added to the electrcity
bills. But it seems that various people and groups attempt to spread
distorted stories with regard to them. Their attempt was to support
foreign communities that are inimical to Sri Lanka and attempt to seek
opportunities to reverse the victories of Sri Lanka.
So I think that it was better that Power and Energy Minister make a
statement explaining the fuel adjustment charges that had been added to
the electricity bill.
Y G Padmasiri (UPFA): This motion was a timely one. There were
various groups who attempt to take petty political gains under whatever
Palitha Range Bandara (UNP): If electricity bills were increased when
fuel prices were increased in the world market, when fuel then the
electricity bills should be reduced.
Ajith P Perera: The price of fuel in the world market has increased.
The fuel adjustment charges had been added to the electricity bill. The
reality was that yet even a drop of fuel at that increased rate was not
On the other hand, another five months period will take for us to
feel the issue in Iran.
Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka: About 1,130,369
people have to pay an additional charge of Rs 22.50 monthly. About 3.3
million people use electricity below 90 units. So, their fuel adjustment
charges at maximum would be below Rs 182.40 monthly.
Even in 2008, a fuel adjustment charge to the electricity bills had
been removed when the fuel prices in the world market had been reduced.
Due to the increase of fuel prices in the world market, the CEB had to
spend an excess amount of Rs 39,841 million in 2012.
The CEB's income had been Rs 141.6 billion and 88 percent had been
spent to generate electricity. The estimated cost of electricity
generation in 2012 had been 96 percent of its income.
The Power and Energy Ministry has decided to reduce the expenditure
of the ministry. The CEB had run at a loss for 15 years and now it was
making profits. The LECO too could be made profitable.
We are unable to depend on fossil fuel to generate electricity. The
fossil fuel will last only for another four decades.
If people switched off one bulb between 6 pm to 9.30 pm we are able
to save 120 mw.
We have appointed an expert committee to solve the technical problems
at Norochcholai Power Plant within two months. If this power plant had
not been set up, we would not have been able to provide electricity
around the clock. The people should remember that our country was the
only one that provides electricity around the clock in our region.
Parliament was adjourned until 1 p.m today.
To be continued
Govt earns Rs 15.7m from Ranmihitenna Tele Village productions
The government has earned Rs 15.7 million from productions at the
newly constructed Ranmihitenna Tele Village in Hambantota from last
September upto now, Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardene told Parliament on Tuesday.
The deputy minister said that 15 productions including five
teledramas, two local films, one foreign film and seven musical
documentaries had been produced at the Ranmihitenna Tele Village upto
now. Meanwhile, the government had spent Rs 569 million for the
construction of the village.
Deputy Minister Abeywardene was replying to an oral question raised
by DNA MP Sunil Hadunnetti.
Foreign cigarette brands cause loss in revenue
Health Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake told Parliament on Tuesday
that the country loses around Rs 150 million daily in revenue due to the
sale of cigarettes belonging to foreign brands by several foreign
He said most of the money was earned from low and middle income
people in the country.
The deputy minister said notices to the effect that the government
has prohibited the sale of cigarettes to persons under 21 years are
displayed in business establishments and restaurants to make the public
aware. However, complaints have been received regarding the sale of
cigarettes to persons under 18 years at several business establishments
and restaurants, the deputy minister said. He said Public Health
Inspectors have been informed to take legal action against these
business establishments and restaurants.
Deputy Minister Dissanayake was responding to an oral question raised
by UPFA MP A H M Azwer.