UPFA renews attempt to woo CWC support

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 June 2004, 05:30 GMT]
Leaders of the minority United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government Tuesday held talks with Mr.Arumugam Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) in a fresh bid to secure majority in parliament when it is scheduled to meet on July 20, political sources said.

The CWC is one of the major constituents of the main opposition United National Front (UNF) in the current parliament with eight MPs.

Earlier UPFA minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera held talks with Mr.Arumugan Thondaman but it proved futile. Thereafter UPFA ministers Mr.Sarath Amunugama and Mr. Mangala Samaraweera held talks with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), which has nine parliamentarians to obtain their support to secure majority in parliament. It also failed as the JHU leaders stressed that unless the government tendered a public apology for the assault on their parliamentarians at the last session of the parliament, which ended in pandemonium.

Minister Mr.Jayaraj Fernandopulle on the instruction of the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge Tuesday met with Mr.Arumugan Thondaman in a fresh bid to obtain the parliamentary support of the CWC, th sources said.

Mr.Jayaraj Fernandopulle is reported to have told the CWC leader that the government was prepared to consider his conditions to join the minority UPFA government. However, Mr.Thondaman did not give any assurance about joining the government at this stage, the sources said.

UPFA sources said the CWC is likely to take a favourable decision on their request once the provincial council election, which is scheduled to be held on July 10, is over.

However, the CWC parliamentarians were also among 114 signatories of a memorandum submitted by the common opposition comprising the United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) in the parliament to show their strength.

 

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