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Resignation of four SLFP MPs for party unity:

Rest will follow suit-Dullas Alahapperuma

The internal crisis within the UNP-led National Unity Government took a new turn on Thursday, when four Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians, who were recently appointed as Ministers, resigned from their ministerial portfolios and rejoined the SLFP-led UPFA coalition.

In a bid to form a strong national government, President Maithripala Sirisena offered ministerial portfolios to 26 SLFP parliamentarians on March 22.Four SLFP stalwarts who resigned from their portfolios were State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Dilan Perera, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister for Environment Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Minister for Public Administration and Democratic Governance C.B. Rathnayake. Soon after their resignation, four SLFP

Parliamentarians who held a joint media briefing at the Opposition Leader’s office in Colombo said that they resigned from their positions as they could not work under the circumstances in the government.

The Government’s decision to allow the tenure of 234 local bodies to lapse on May 15 and appoint Special commissioners, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s comment against the Supreme Court’s ruling of staying the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and adjourning the case till October 6, the Government’s partiality towards SLFP Parliamentarians in the release of money under the decentralised funds and the conduct of Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) were cited as key reasons by the four Ministers to resign.


Ministers to quit their portfolios

Meanwhile, SLFP Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma at a media briefing in Colombo on Friday hailed the decision taken by four Ministers to resign from their posts for the sake of the party’s unity and its future. The four SLFP MPs proved that they love their party rather than getting portfolios and perks. MP Alahapperuma said that he believes the other SLFP

MPs who obtained portfolios of the government would also follow the example set by these four SLFP MPs.

Earlier State Minister of Aviation Faiszer Musthapha and State Minister of Higher Education Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha resigned from their portfolios and crossed over to the Opposition. Both these SLFP MPs with few other SLFP MPs defected from then UPFA Government to support Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Election.

Six SLFP Parliamentarians who held portfolios under the current Government resigned from their posts and returned to the main Opposition UPFA.


No equal treatment


Matara District SLFP
Parliamentarian Mahinda Yapa  Abeywardena
 

This FCID has been established to investigate whether the government  funds are being misused or
squandered. The money at Dalada Maligawa is controlled by the Buddhist monks under the supervision of the Chief Incumbent  of the MalwattaChapter

Following a decision taken by the SLFP Central Committee, we joined the Government to help implement the policies which had been promised by the President. A national government has to have a nationalistic outlook and all its members should be treated equally. Prime Minister Ranil

Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake have not given the Members of Parliament their Rs.5 million decentralised budgetary allocation for this year. What they promised us was to increase it up to Rs.10 million. But not a single cent has been issued to the District

Secretaries up to now. In the meantime, the Finance Minister had issued some money in a surreptitious manner to their Pradeshiya Sabha members and supporters at the villages to carry out their development work.

As Ministers of this government, we found it difficult to survive in villages under these circumstances.

The Finance Minister said that this money would be given only after the next Parliament is set up in September. But some money has been given to their people to prepare for the next election. This is an unfortunate situation which we don’t condone under any circumstance.

Under the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), they summoned the Chief Custodian of Sri Dalada Maligawa which is the most sacred place of Buddhists. This FCID has been established to investigate whether the government funds are being misused or squandered.

The money at Dalada Maligawa is controlled by the Buddhist monks under the supervision of the Chief Incumbent of the Malwatta Chapter. The money spent by the Dalada Maligawa cannot be questioned under any circumstances as it is not public funds. Has this been done in any other religion? They only want to discredit Buddhism and Buddhist monks.


Opposing undemocratic moves


Badulla District
SLFP  Parliamentarian
Dilan Perera
 

We passed the 19th
Amendment.

We joined the government to extend our support to implement the 19th and 20th Amendments and create a new political culture in the country. We passed the 19th Amendment. When the 19th Amendment was to be implemented based on the Supreme Court determination, deliberate attempts were made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to obstruct it.

His intention was to give a wrong impression to the public that the 19th Amendment could not be passed due to the SLFP.

However, we could defeat this conspiracy and pass this legislation after amending it. We are politicians who take decisions based on principles.

Amidst series of obstacles, we tried our best to go ahead and fulfill people’s aspirations.

When the UNP-led Government resorted to undemocratic moves, we couldn’t tolerate it furthermore. The decision taken by us would have a great impact towards forming our government at the next General Election.

 


Govt has violated consensus


Ratnapura District SLFP Parliamentarian Pavithra
Wanniarachchi

The UNP under the pretext of ‘good governance’ wants to browbeat the Opposition.

This is not a decision taken against any person. We joined hands with the UNP Government due to the decision taken by the SLFP to extend its support to the Government.

I decided to join the government to bring democratic reforms to the country, hoping to give strength to my party and its supporters.

But the Government has blatantly violated the consensus reached among us and launched a witch-hunt against the Opposition MPs.

When one looks at the past few months, it is clear that the UNP has resorted to its usual political thuggery attempting to brand SLFP MPs as crooks.

The UNP under the pretext of ‘good governance’ wants to browbeat the Opposition. We will fully dedicate ourselves to bring SLFP- led UPFA government into power at the next General Election.

 

 


Our hands are clean


Nuwara Eliya District SLFP Parliamentarian C.B.Ratnayake
 

There are no charges of fraud or malpractices
against us.

This is not a decision taken on personnel grounds. The FCID implements various decisions taken by the National Executive Council. There is no question about taking legal actions against those who have committed to frauds. Our hands are clean.

There are no charges of fraud or malpractices against us.

The decisions on the FCID is taken by a senior DIG who has been placed even above the IGP. He acts according to the directions of the Prime Minister. The FCID is used to repress the public will and people’s rights.

We also vehemently condemn the steps taken by the FCID to question the Chief Custodian of Sri Dalada Maligawa by bringing discredit to Buddhism. We will not be surprised if they question the Atamasthanadipathi or the Chief Incumbent of Sri Pada.

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