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* Two Sri Lankan Ministers have not lost their posts G.L. Pieris
Thu, Mar 25, 2010, 08:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Export Development and International Trade and legal expert Prof. G.L. Peiris said today at the cabinet press briefing that Ministers Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake had not lost their parliamentary seats as claimed by the opposition United National Party (UNP).

The Minister said that according to article 48 (1) of Sri Lanka constitution, the two Ministers would not lose their executive posts and also the parliamentary seats.

The Minister further said that the attorney general has clearly informed the cabinet that their portfolios will not be abolished.

A change in the composition of parliament could not be made after its dissolution. Parliament is being convened after dissolution only for special purposes such as extending emergency, Prof. Peiris argued.

Two candidates of the 2004 general election nominations are expected to take oaths as Members of Parliament when the parliament reconvenes on April 06 for the extension of emergency for another month.

These candidates are Anura Gopallawa and D.M. Bandaranayake who were next in line of the preferential votes list after Minister Johnston Fernando and Minister Indika Bandaranayake.

Johnston 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 Bandaranaike was also elected as an MP in 2004 from the same district.

Both MPs crossed over to the government recently and they were sacked by the UNP. They had filed fundamental rights petitions against the party decision but withdrew them after the parliament was dissolved.

They were not allowed to attend the parliamentary meeting held on March 09 since they had lost the MP posts.

In the last Parliament, over 40 members elected on the UNP ticket had teamed up with the ruling UPFA and held ministerial portfolios. When the UNP expelled them from the party, they sought court's redress to keep their party membership.

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