Parliament meets amid confusion over majority to ruling UPFA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 June 2004, 04:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament is meeting Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. to appoint standing committees and ministerial parliamentary consultative committees. Battle lines are drawn by the minority ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the main opposition United National Front (UNF) to capture control of these committees, parliamentary sources in Colombo said.

In the 225 member- parliament the ruling UPFA currently holds 110 seats including three dissident Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarians Messrs Hussain Baila, Risard Badiudin and Najeeb Abdul Majeed and one of the two dissident Jathika Hela Urumaya parliamentarian Venerable Pannananda Thera.

Another dissident JHU parliamentarian Ven. Kataluwe Ratnaseeha Thera has resigned from his parliamentary seat. However he has filed a civil suit in the Colombo District Court that he was abducted and forced to resign his seat. However the Colombo High Court has issued an order preventing the new MP appointed by the JHU replacing the resigned from taking oaths in the parliament Tuesday till the mater is finalized, sources said.

As the joint opposition parties including 22 of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) holds the majority in parliament (115 seats), political circles speculate that it would be impossible for the ruling UPFA to capture majority in the standing and ministerial consultative committee unless last minute cross over from the opposition to government side takes place Tuesday, sources said

However the UPFA sources said that it would prove its majority in parliament and would capture the control of all committees to be elected Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the main opposition, the UNP is reported to have informed the Commissioner of Elections that it had withdrawn the names of two SLMC parliamentarians from its national list, UNP sources said.

Mr. Hussain Baila, a SLMC parliamentarian who took oaths recently through UNP national list two weeks ago crossed over to the Sri Lanka government side and another SLMC parliamentarian of the UNP national list is also tipped to cross over to the ruling party, sources said

In the meantime three new parliamentarians nominated by the ruling UPFA through its national list, to fill the vacancies created by the resignation of persons nominated earlier, Mr.M.K.M.Mussamil of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Messrs Mitrapala and Nimala Kotelawala of SLFP, are to be sworn in Tuesday, parliamentary sources said.


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