Connect with us

News

SLPP loses simple majority, bid to collect signatures in support of PM failed – Udaya

Published

on

‘Certain defeat at NCM vote can be avoided only by PM’s resignation’

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila yesterday (25) claimed that the ruling SLPP government parliamentary group no longer had a simple majority in Parliament.

Addressing the media at the PHU office, at Kotte Road, Pita Kotte, Attorney-at-Law Gammanpila said that 120 lawmakers, representing both the government and the Opposition, had taken a stand, contrary to that of the SLPP.

Former Energy Minister Gammanpila said that at the onset of the crisis, the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) had sought to move a no-faith motion against the government.

However, the SJB had been told not to do so unless it was sure of the support of at least 113 members, MP Gammanpila said.

Lawmaker Gammanpila said that they warned the no-faith motion could end up as a show of confidence. But, now 65 Opposition members grouping had been joined by 39 member SLPP grouping, in addition to 10-member government group that asked for the resignation of the Cabinet to pave the way for an interim administration and three Opposition members who voted for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution returning to their parties, MP Gammanpila said.

Declaring that the group opposed to the government now comprised 117 members, the former minister pointed out that three others-Media Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, his predecessor Dullas Alahapperuma and Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Prof. Charitha Herath had called for an interim administration to settle the political crisis.

Lawmaker Gammanpila claimed that in addition to them, there were several others prepared to vote for a no-faith motion against the SLPP government.

MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara, General Secretary of the SJB yesterday said that over 120 lawmakers backed the proposed no-faith motion. MP Bandara said so following talks with SLPP rebels.

Reiterating their demand for the entire Cabinet-of-Ministers, including the Prime Minister to quit, former Minister Gammanpila claimed that a recent attempt by the SLPP to obtain signatures of members in support of the Premier had to be abandoned as only 46 declared their support.

The SLPP parliamentary group comprises 145 members, just five short of 2/3 majority in Parliament.

MP Gammanpila challenged SLPP General Secretary Attorney -at-Law Sagara Kariyawasam to reveal the list of signatures. The PHU leader said that the government could avoid certain defeat at the forthcoming no-confidence motion by asking the Cabinet-of -Ministers to resign. “If the Prime Minister resigned, other members of the Cabinet of Minister will leave,” MP Gammanpila said.

In the wake of the rapidly developing political crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa swore in a new cabinet of about 20 and 28 State Ministers.

Recalling how Mahinda Rajapaksa swiftly left the Temple Trees after his defeat at the 2015 presidential election, MP Gammanpila alleged that a small clique of persons close to the Premier was making a desperate attempt to compel the twice President to continue.

MP Gammanpila warned that unless the PM was allowed to step down, they would be forced to name those who were preventing the Prime Minister from leaving office.

The former Minister said that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given an opportunity to honorably leave active politics. Gammanpila accused those around the PM of destroying him for their personal benefit.

MP Gammanpila said that their strategy was on track with more members of Parliament seeking consensus with them and political parties working together to bring the situation under control.

The PHU leader reiterated their concerns about the defection of SLFPer Shantha Bandara engineered by the SLPP.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

BASL urges President to de-escalate tensions in different parts of country

Published

on

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called upon President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to instruct the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of tensions in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by the public.”

 “Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint”, the BASL has said in a media statement.

 “We also call upon you to ensure that steps are taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.”

The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police.

 The armed forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

Full text of the BASL letter to the President:

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) expresses its gravest concerns at the current situation at fuel stations throughout the country and the reports of several incidents of conflicts between civilians and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations. There has been video footage of civilians being assaulted by personnel of the armed forces and the police, the latest being of a civilian being kicked by an Army officer at a fuel station. There have also been situations of the police and Army opening fire into the air to contain the crowd.

Your Excellency is no doubt aware that thousands of desperate civilians are waiting in queues at hundreds of fuel stations in the country. The queues are kilometres long. The tension at the fuel stations have arisen from this desperation for which there is no immediate solution in sight.

The BASL wishes to warn Your Excellency of the imminent dangers this situation could give rise to. The present unrest could result in a conflagration between civilians and members of the armed forces or the police. Some years ago, confrontations between members of the public and the armed forces resulted in the deaths of civilians. Such incidents between the members of the armed forces or the police and the civilians will discredit Sri Lanka’s armed forces and the police.

We call upon Your Excellency to take all necessary steps to give instructions to the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of the situation in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by public. Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint. We also call upon you to ensure that steps be taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.

The Sri Lanka Army and other service personnel must be deployed only in very limited circumstances as contemplated in the Criminal Procedure Code. The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police. The Armed Forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

We trust that this will receive the immediate attention of the Government as to do otherwise may otherwise result in unprecedented turmoil and harm.

The BASL believes that the ultimate solution to the situation at fuel stations is to be transparent with the public and to ensure an equitable and effective system of fuel distribution throughout the country.

Continue Reading

News

SC orders AG to submit report on fuel purchases and distribution

Published

on

By A.J.A. Abeynayake

A three-member Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Mahinda Samayawardena and Arjuna Obeysekera yesterday ordered the Attorney General to submit a report on fuel purchases, the distribution thereof and the sectors to be provided with fuel on a priority basis.

The Supreme Court made the order after considering two fundamental rights petitions presented by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

The BASL has requested the Supreme Court to direct the Cabinet of Ministers to consult all stakeholders and independent experts to formulate and implement the necessary policies, and to provide concessions in relation to the prices of essential goods and services to the people including LP gas, fuel, electricity, milk powder, medicines and food.

The petitions were filed by the President of the BASL Saliya Pieris PC, Deputy President Anura Meddegoda PC, former Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya, Treasurer Rajindh Perera and the Assistant Secretary Pasindu Silva.

Continue Reading

News

A/L may be delayed by one month

Published

on

Education Minister Sushil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday that although it had been scheduled to hold the G.C.E. A/L Examination 2022 in November this year, it could be further delayed by another month.

Responding to a question by MP Shantha Bandara, the Minister said: “The examination should be held at least after three months of releasing the results of the previous A/L exam because the students who need to sit it again should have enough time to prepare,” the Minister said.

Continue Reading

Trending