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* Sri Lanka main opposition party calls for the removal of crossed over MPs from their portfolios
Thu, Mar 11, 2010, 10:33 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 11, Colombo: General Secretary of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, Tissa Attanayake has written to the Cabinet Secretary requesting the removal of Ministers Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake from their portfolios as they were no longer members of the parliament.

In the letter Attanayake has stated that under Section 44 (1) (a) of the Constitution, only a member of parliament could hold a ministerial portfolio. He has also stated that the two members could not enjoy privileges of a government minister or even an MP and that any decision arrived at Cabinet meetings presided by Fernando and Bandaranayake would be considered null and void.

Ministers Fernando and Bandaranayke lost their parliamentary seats when parliament reconvened on the 9th. Acting Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda informed that they had lost their seats since they were expelled by their party, the UNP, following their defection to the government.

The UNP expelled Fernando and Bandaranayke from the party and they filed a case before the Supreme Court against the decision. However, following the dissolution of parliament last month, they had withdrawn the petition filed before the Supreme Court. Since Fernando and Bandaranayake had withdrawn the petition filed against the party decision before the Supreme Court, they lost the party membership and their parliamentary seats as well.

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