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JVP, SJB will boycott Mahinda’s meeting at Temple Trees on Monday

BOYCOTT LIKELY – The PM has invited all 225 ex-MPs to Temple Trees on Monday

ECONOMYNEXT – Many of the ex-Members of Parliament from the Opposition invited by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to meet at Temple Trees on Monday are unlikely to attend.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has already announced that it will not attend and the Sajith Premadasa-led Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) is also “very unlikely” to make it to the meeting, a source at the alliance told EconomyNext.

The SJB had called a party leaders meeting Friday night to make a final decision and draft a joint statement.

However the General Secretary of the alliance Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Tamil Progressive alliance leader Mano Ganesan have said that they are against attending the PM’s meeting.

The United National Party led by Ranil Wickremesinghe will attend the meeting the Party General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told EconomyNext.

He will be supported by 13 ex-MPs.

The Tamil National Alliance has not announced their final decision but all their 14 ex-MPs have been asked to come to Colombo tomorrow for a meeting.

A senior party member said that the alliance which had 14 MPs in the recently dissolved Parliament “is leaning towards attending the meeting because of the coronavirus situation in the country.”

The JVP in a formal statement is saying they feel that a meeting of all the 225 ex-MPs in the PM’s office would be pointless.

The party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that there was little to be discussed unless the Parliament was reconvened and an All-partly steering group led by the President and Prime Minister was created.

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He pointed out that with the Parliament not reconvened beyond the 30-day period after the dissolution there is a constitutional crisis developing in the country.

There are two options for the country to avoid a crisis and they are:
1. For the President to recall Parliament under extra-ordinary circumstances or
2. Seek the advice of the Supreme Court on the matter.

The SJB, UNP and the TNA sent a letter last week to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urging him to recall Parliament and pledging their support to his efforts to deal with the COVID 19 crisis.

They reminded him that after April 30, it is illegal for the President to draw public money from the Treasury for any purpose.

However, the President rejected the offer saying these parties are motivated by narrow political interest and he would not reconvene Parliament.(Colombo, May 1, 2020)