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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader calls on Speaker to summon urgent party leaders meeting
Fri, Apr 2, 2010, 08:18 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe has in writing requested the Speaker of Parliament, W.J.M. Lokubandara to summon an urgent meeting of party leaders to resolve the issue related to the swearing in of two new UNP MPs in place of UNP defectors Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake.

Wickremasinghe's letter to the Speaker was in response to an earlier letter sent to the main opposition by the Secretary General of Parliament that two new UNP members could not be sworn in on April 6 as the House is to meet for a specific purpose.

According to Wickremasinghe, it was the Secretary General of Parliament who initially informed the Elections Commissioner in terms of Section 64(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act of the two vacancies.

"It was thereafter that the Commissioner of Elections acting in terms of Section 64(2) of the Parliamentary Elections Act gazzetted the names at Messrs M.M.M Mustafa, D.R Bandaranayake and Anura Gopallawa as being duly elected to fill these vacancies," the letter stated.

The Opposition Leader had reminded the Speaker that the non- filling of these vacancies would deprive the people from Kurunegala the fundamental right to represent the area.

He told the Speaker that not swearing in the members whose names were gazetted is tantamount to permitting Fernando and Bandaranayake to enjoy the benefits of being Members of Parliament.

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