ECONOMYNEXT – The main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya will initiate disciplinary proceedings against its Assistant Secretary Diana Gamage who broke ranks and voted with the government last night to pass the second reading of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
A party spokesman, MP Ravi Jayawardena said that the SJB will seek to expel the MP from the party and that means Gamage will lose her seat. She is a National List MP and one of two women Members from the SJB.
She was among five MPs from the group which supported the move to vest extraordinary power to the Executive, making President Gotabaya Rajapaksa an all-powerful Head of State with power over the Judiciary as well as the Legislature.
The other MPs are members of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) from the Eastern Province as well as Puttalam. Some members from the SLMC contested the elections under the SJB banner.
The Deputy Leader of the party Naseer Ahmed voted with the government.
One MP who is a supporter of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen also voted for the amendment. Bathiudeen who was brought out of quarantine and Remand to Parliament opposed the motion.
After the vote, Gamage told reporters that she had “voted with her conscience” as she had “faith in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.”
She also denied that she had been paid money or given any privileges to vote for the government. (Colombo, October 23, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana