Sri Lanka parliament votes to cut spending by PM’s office

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s parliament voted to cut spending by the office of the disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday with 123 legislators of the 225-assembly backing the move and non against in a symbolic move to show that parliament has control of the country’s finances.

Rajapaksa had refused to leave office despite two votes of no confidence and President Maithripala Sirisena had wanted parliament to conduct another vote on a stipulated procedure.

The last vote was passed with 121 voting. Today’s vote was boycotted by Rajapaksa loyalists.

Athuraliye Rathana, a monk who was in the Sirisena -Rajapaksa camp, sat in the camp of ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The legislators in its motion said the Prime Minister’s Secretary had no powers to spend money.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna legislator Bimal Ratnayake said all officers and politicians who mis-used funds and damaged the image of the country should be made to pay reparations.

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the expense of Temple Trees, where ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe lives, also is not legal.

UNP legislator Lakshman Kiriella said all expenses including electricity bills were borne by well-wishers. (Colombo/June29/2018)

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