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* Two new MPs to take oaths in Sri Lanka just for two days
Wed, Mar 10, 2010, 08:17 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 10, Colombo: Two candidates of Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party at the 2004 general election are likely to take oaths as Members of Parliament when the reconvened parliament meets on April 06 for the extension of emergency for another month.

The candidates, Anura Gopallawa and D.M. Bandaranayke who were next in line of the preferential votes list after can take oath as MPs when Parliament meets on April 6.

Minister Johnston Fernando and Minister Indika Bandaranayke lost their parliamentary seats yesterday when the parliament reconvened as they have been expelled from the UNP for crossing over to the government side.

They had filed fundamental rights petitions against the UNP's decision but withdrew the petitions when the sixth parliament was dissolved in February.

They were not allowed to attend the yesterday's parliamentary meeting since they had lost the MP posts.

Minister Fernando contested the 2004 general election from the Kurunegala district and got elected to the parliament with over 100,000 preferential votes. He came second in the list next to former MP Gamini Jayawickrama Perera. Indika Bandaranayke was also elected as an MP in 2004 from the same district.

In the last Parliament, over 40 members elected on the UNP ticket teamed up with the ruling UPFA and held different portfolios. When the UNP expelled them from the party, they sought legal redress to retain their positions as MPs. None of them except Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayke lost their MP posts.

The new MPs will hold the posts just for two days if they take oaths on April 06. However, they will withdraw a handsome salary well over Rs. 50,000 with fuel, transport, and telephone allowances. They will be paid from public coffers for the sole sitting they were to attend.

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