Saturday, 18 May 2019 05:38

JO defends MR’s decision not to sign NCM against Bathiudeen

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The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday said Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s move to not to sign the No-Confidence Motion against Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was a decision based on protocol.

The No-Confidence Motion was signed by 64 MPs alleging Bathiudeen had links with several suspects who were arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks. Representing the JO, MP Udaya Gammanpila handed over the No-Confidence Motion to the Speaker on Thursday morning at the Speaker’s Office in Parliament.

Gammanpila told Daily FT that JO MPs had previously taken the decision to not to obtain Rajapaksa’s signature for No-Confidence Motions against Ministers or MPs.

“As per our initial agreements, Mahinda Rajapaksa never signed for No-Confidence Motion against a Minister or MP. He will only sign for a No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister or impeachment of the President,” He added.

Gammanpila noted Mahinda Rajapaksa had not signed any No-Confidence Motions brought against a Minister or MP by JO. He pointed out that Rajapaksa had only signed the No-Confidence Motion that was brought against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last year, which was later defeated by the Government MPs.

“We have handed over few No-Confidence Motions previously against several Ministers and MPs of the Government, including No-Confidence Motions against Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Minister Rajitha Senaratne, but Rajapaksa had not signed any of those.”

However, Gammanpila said Rajapaksa would vote in favour of the No-Confidence against Bathiudeen in Parliament. Several JO MPs who were overseas had faxed their support for the No-Confidence Motion and assured they would vote in favour of it.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) stated on Thursday that the party has yet to decide on whether to support the No-Confidence Motion against Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.

(FT)

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