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* SLFP General Secretary personally opposes JO's no-confidence motion against PM
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 10:22 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka Freedom party General Secretary and Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake says he firmly opposes the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) to be tabled against the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by the Joint Opposition (JO).

Minister Dissanayake stressing that it is his personal opinion and not the stand of the SLFP, told the BBC Sinhala Service that the party has not taken a decision yet on the NCM against the Premier.

"Officially the party has not taken a decision, and the group bringing the no confidence motion officially did not invite us, nor discussed with us or anything else," Minister Dissanayake said.

Explaining why he personally opposes the NCM against the Premier, Minister Dissanayake pointed out that everyone in the government is responsible and not just the Prime Minister for the outcome of the local government elections.

"If the government a received an answer from the last election, Duminda should be responsible for that, and Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe should also be responsible, as well as the president and the two parties," he said..

Former President Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be moved next week.

He has claimed that the Premier will have to go soon and the United National party (UNP) MPs themselves will make that happen.

"It seems like the members of the United National Party will send away the Prime Minister, there is nothing I have to do," he was quoted as saying.

However, responding to a BBC Sinhala service query, Deputy General Secretary of UNP, Deputy Minister said there is no division in the party and the party's parliamentary group is united in supporting the Prime Minister.

The Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera said that if the joint opposition moving the NCM against the government any minister of the government supporting the NCM have to resign from his portfolio.

State Minister Vasantha Senanayake, who described the recent cabinet reshuffle as a "comedy", said that it was only after consideration of the charges in the No-Confidence Motion, a decision should be made whether to support the NCM or not.

Meanwhile, Minister T.B. Ekanayake representing the SLFP said he already signed the NCM against the Premier.

However, Minister Duminda Dissanayake, speaking to the BBC Sinhala service, said that he had only seen the media report in this regard and strongly criticized the attempt to move the no-confidence motion.

He denied that the President officially requested the Prime Minister to step down after the losses at the local government elections.

"However, according to this election result, there are issues that need to be politically understood by the SLFP and the UNP, as well as the government and make changes," he said.

Hence, the Minister of Agriculture has analyzed that the no-confidence motion by the joint opposition is aimed at creating a conflict between the President and the Prime Minister and sabotaging the national unity government.

"They want to get rid of the FCID (Financial Crimes Investigation Division) and remove the lawsuits against them, and also to oppose the establishment of permanent High Court-at-Bar. So it is clear the ulterior motive of the NCM is to clear themselves from the allegations of fraud and corruption against them," the Minister said.

Therefore, President Maithripala Sirisena and all others have a "responsibility" not to turn their back on the January 8, mandate, Minister Duminda Dissanayake emphasized.

"The vast majority of people in this country voted against the government, because the government failed to catch the thieves despite the talk. This government has a great responsibility to do anything that will not allow the thieves to succeed," he said.

When inquired about the media reports which claimed that although SLFP has not made a decision, SLFP Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara and SB Dissanayake as well as deputy speaker Thilanga Sumathipala are of the stand to support the NCM against the Premier, the General Secretary of SLFP said he is not surprised since all those were not against the fraud and corruption at the January 8th election.

"This is not the view of the people who represented the people, so there are two opinions here," the minister said.

Minister Duminda Dissanayake stressed that at a time when judicial investigations have been launched against many fraudsters the effort for their "salvation" cannot be supported by any means.


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