2ND LEAD

UPFA budget passed with 16 majority votes

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 November 2007, 11:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka parliament Monday evening adopted the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) budget for 2008, the third budget of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with a majority of 16 votes. 118 members voted for the budget and 102 voted against, parliamentary sources said.

20 Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians, except Batticaloa district TNA MP T. Kanagasabai whose son-in-law was abducted on Sunday and Mr. Eezhaventhan who is outside Sri Lanka, were present at the parliament and voted against the budget.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who crossed over to the opposition last Wednesday and Nandana Gunathilake, the rebel parliamentarian of the JVP, abstained from voting.

The JVP chose to vote against the budget and not abstain as it became obvious that the UPFA would be able to pass the budget without depending on JVP votes, informed sources said.


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