Joint opposition demands parliament reopens

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 August 2001, 11:05 GMT]
The joint opposition Wednesday asked the Government to reconvene parliament immediately and to cancel the referendum. Leaders of united National Party, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, Sihala Urumaya, Tamil United Liberation Front, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (Hakeem group) and All Ceylon Tamil Congress met this morning under the leadership of Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Opposition and reviewed the President's decision to postpone the referendum for October 18.

Several opposition leaders expressed that "the joint opposition should not accept postponement of the referendum. It should be cancelled once and for all."

At the conclusion, the joint opposition decided to put forward three demands to the government to be implemented immediately. The three demands included that parliament is reconvened immediately and the postponed referendum is cancelled.

Meanwhile Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Opposition leader, said that the government "not only lost the confidence of a majority of parliamentarians but also the people of the country. This has been proved with the postponement of the referendum."

Mr.Wickremasinghe told a press conference Wednesday afternoon: "it is now well known to the world the present People's Alliance government is ruling the country without the support of the people. Therefore the bounden duty of the President is to reconvene the prorogued parliament immediately."

"The postponement of the referendum is only an intermission for the government machinery to manipulate its strategies to 'buy' some parliamentarians to its side, " said Mr.Apputhurai Vinayagamoorthy, Tamil Congress parliamentarian, addressing the same press conference.

The Leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), Mr.N.Sri Kantha, said "the postponement of the referendum is a victory for democracy."


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