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UNP does a U-turn, will boycott Mahinda’s MPs meeting tomorrow

ECONOMYNEXT – The United National Party is also not attending the meeting of all former members of the recently dissolved parliament called for tomorrow at Temple Trees by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the party announced.

The Prime Minister had invited all the members of the recently dissolved Parliament for a meeting to discuss the current situation in the country.

But the invitation was turned down by the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leaving only a small minority of the former Opposition to attend the meeting.

The SJB rejected the PM’s invite after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office rejected a call by most of the Opposition parties to reconvene Parliament, pledging to support the government’s efforts to fight the COVID 19 menace.

On Friday the UNP and the Tamil National Alliance said they would attend but today, Sunday, May 3, the UNP announced that it had changed its mind.

This was because after the SJB and JVP withdrawals the PM’s office had sent out invitations to retired parliamentarians to attend the meeting.

“The UNP is of the opinion that no meaningful dialogue can be held at this type of meeting. Instead the Rajapaksa’s are focused on playing party politics at a time when the nation needs unity in leadership,” the UNP said.

It’s General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told EconomyNext that bringing in retired Parliamentarians would make the meetings meaningless in the current context.

The TNA is meeting tonight and is yet to make a final decision former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told EconomyNext.

“We had earlier decided to attend,” he added. (Colombo May 3, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana