Sri Lanka has two opposition leaders: TNA chief

ECONOMYNEXT – The Head of Sri Lanka’s Tami National Alliance questioned whether there were two opposition leaders in parliament, because Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has not formally removed him while naming Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post.

"There are two persons in the position of leader of opposition in the current parliament," TNA leader R Sampanthan said.

Sampanthan questioned whether the Speaker lacked the conviction to remove him from the post.

He said no cabinet has yet been formed and asked whether the speaker has been hasty in making Rajapaksa the opposition leader.

There were protests on Wednesday from government benches, when Rajapaksa was appointed saying he was a ‘stranger’ in the house because he had allegedly become a member of the Sri Lanka Podujana Party or Pohottuwa.

They called for a select committee to inquire into the matter. Speaker Jayasuriya said he will give a ruling on Friday.

Fellow legislator M A Sumanthiran said he was tabling three newspaper reports showing, The Island, Ceylon Today and Divaina, that Rajapaksa had become a member of the SLPP.

Rajapaksa gained membership of the SLPP, on 11 November, two days after President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament, Sumanthiran said.

He said under the constitution, anyone who left a party, lost their seat after the lapse of one month.

Rauf Hakeem said on Wednesday that any member who left a party, lost his seat ipso facto.

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Susil Premajayantha said he disputed the statement made by the ‘opposition leader’.

He said under the Sri Lanka Freedom Party constitution, there had to be an inquiry and a person had to be expelled.

But the UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera had nominated the name of Rajapaksa as opposition leader.

Newspapers were not proof.

Leader of the House Lakshaman Kiriella said questioned whether it was not true that according to twitter.com messages 50 members of the UPFA including Mahinda Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa had taken SLPP membership. (Colombo/Dec19/2018)
 

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