The Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament will be ceremonially declared open on January 3 at 10 am under the patronage of the President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Given that Article 70 (1) of the Constitution gives the President the power to rescind Parliament, the President decided to end the term of Parliament issuing a special gazette notification on the 2nd of December 2019. The new Parliamentary session on the 3rd will commence with the arrival of the invitees at 9.00 a. m. The arrival of the members of Parliament will take place first followed by the arrival of the Speaker of Parliament Karu Hayasuriya, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and President Gotabhaya Rajapakse
The President is scheduled to chair the inaugural meeting at 10.00 a. m and the statement of the new Government’s policy as provided by Article 33 (2) of the Constitution will be read by the president. The President will adjourned the Parliamentary Session following the presenting of the policy statement. The Parliament has been adjourned more than 50 times since 1947. 25 parliamentary sessions have been held only after 1978. The First Session of the First Parliament was held on the14th of October 1947. It was ceremonially opened and presided over by Governor Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore. He delivered the throne speech, which was debated by Parliament and passed by a vote of thanks.
The Third Session of the Second Parliament was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II. She ceremonially inaugurated the session on the 12th of April 1954. The throne speech was read by the Queen and no debate was brought forth with regard to the throne speech presented by the queen. Later, the new session of Parliament was inaugurated with or without the conduct of inaugurating ceremonies. With the enactment of the new constitution in 1978, the government’s policy statement given by the president replaced the throne speech at the beginning of the new sessions