Thursday August 22, 2019

Sri Lanka Speaker rejects call to remove Tamil opposition leader

Aug 10, 2018 11:23 AM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)


ECONOMYNEXT – Parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Friday rejected a demand to take away the Leader of the Opposition post from Tamil National Alliance chief R. Sampanthan.

Jayasuriya reading out his final decision, denied the demand of the “Joint Opposition”  to recognize them as the largest single opposition party in parliament  and give them MP Sampanthan’s position.

Jayasuriya said the  MPs who entered parliament as members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) could not claim to be in the opposition while the UPFA remained part of the government of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Should the so called members of the Joint Opposition quit the UPFA, they will be entitled to be recognized as a separate entity  and  claim the opposition leader’s position.

UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said they had the support of over 70 MPs as opposed to Sampanthan whose TNA had only 16 and therefore he (Gunawardena) should be the Leader of the Opposition.

Jayasuriya cited Westminster parliamentary tradition and said he was ruling that there was no grounds for the “JO” to claim the leader of the opposition position while remaining in a party that was a constituent on the government.

JO MPs do not want to quit the UPFA because that could lead to their expulsion from the party and eventually from parliament. (COLOMBO, August 10, 2018)



  1. Rohan Perera August 10, 01:57 AM

    Hello Raji. I think this is a story because the OP wants the TNA toppled and have a hardline Sinhala nationalist (Dinesh Gunawardana) appointed as Opposition Leader. Economynext did not have the courage to call this a racist move by the JO and left it to us to read between the lines. Better call a spade a spade. And a very sinister one at that. What is the basis to give the LOP to Dinesh. He is not even the most senior MP on the JO side.

  2. Raji August 10, 12:26 PM

    Reject call to Remove Tamil Opposition Leader and instead appoint a Sinhala Opposition Leader, is it?This is another clear example of how certain Journalists try to create Racism in society in a subtle way

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