Numbers game worries PA

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 August 2000, 18:24 GMT]
A government MP joined the opposition Monday in protest against the new constitution bill. Mr.Dixon J. Perera MP said that he is leaving the government because he believes that the bill will harm the nation. Meanwhile, Mr. P.P Devaraj of the Ceylon Workers Congress spoke critically of the bill in Parliament today, giving rise to speculation that he too might vote against it despite his party's pledge to support the government. Dharmalingam Sidarthan, the leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) told the Parliament that his group finds major aspects of the new constitution bill totally unacceptable.

ashraff_m_h_m_3-p.jpgMr.Harendra Corea, an opposition MP crossed over to the government today. The leader of the Muslim Congress Mr.M.H.M Ashraff urged the TULF, during a long speech in the house in support of the bill, to back the government. He emphasised that it would be a grave historical blunder on the part of the TULF if failed to vote for the bill.

If the TULF and PLOTE do not back the government and if a significant number of UNP MPs do not defect then the successful ratification of the bill could be in great jeopardy say political analysts in Colombo.

The government is counting on the nine votes of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), eight of the CWC and those of UNP defectors.

Three EPDP MPs were sworn in today following a supreme court decision Friday.

However, defections from its own ranks and the uncertainty over the crucial votes of the TULF and the PLOTE is causing concern in the government.


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