Feature Article

Struggle to take Sri Lanka Parliament gathers pace

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 November 2003, 06:02 GMT]
Tamil and Muslim MPs and the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna are set to play a key role as frantic efforts by President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s People Alliance and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Front to cobble together a majority in Parliament before 19 November gathered momentum in Colombo Wednesday. Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP for Vanni told TamilNet: “We won’t go for horse deals. The TNA will take a principled stand in the interests of peace”.

Political analysts and her opponents in Colombo say that President Chandrika would not risk an election at this juncture. “I do not think she will go for an election now. It will be a mess for her. So she will have to get the right number of MPs to form the government”, says Mr. Rajpal Abeynayake, the well regarded political columnist for Sunday Times, an independent English weekly paper published from Colombo.

The United National Party (UNP) has 109 seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament. Its main coalition partner, SLMC has five.

The legislature has 225 seats. Hence a party or a coalition should have at least 113 seats to form a government.

Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s coalition, United National Front (UNF), has 114 seats. The CWC and UPF contested on the UNP list.

President Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance (PA) has 77 MPs.

The JVP has 16 seats. The Tamil National Alliance 15, EPDP 2 and PLOTE 1.

President Kumaratunga needs 36 extra seats at least to form her government before 19 November.

“Right now the President’s best bets are the JVP and EPDP, both of which were her coalition partners until Mr. Rauff Hakeem quit the PA, bringing down the government in 2001. PLOTE might also tilt to her side”, said Mr. V. Devaraj, the editor of the Sunday edition of the Virakesari, the Tamil paper with the largest circulation in Sri Lanka.

That will still leave her short of 17 seats. PA leaders express confidence that several UNP MPs are planning to cross over to their side.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe moved swiftly Tuesday to stop MPs in his coalition from being inveigled by the President. He issued instructions from Washington that all Parliamentarians in the UNF should sign a pledge of allegiance forthwith.

“We have signed it”, said Mr. H. M. M Harris, an outspoken MP of the SLMC from the Amparai district.

Meanwhile, an SLMC spokesman said that the party would insist on the condition that the Muslims should be included as a third party in any future negotiations between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. (The LTTE objects to this on the ground that talks should be confined only to the parties to the conflict)

Earlier in the day, PA sources in Colombo said that a deal between the SLMC and the PA was on the cards.

The fractured SLMC has 12 MPs, 7 of whom were elected as UNP candidates. The party bargained plum positions in the cabinet in return for supporting the PA (1994) and the UNP (2001) to form governments.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, the secretary general of the Tamil United Liberation Front, the main constituent of the TNA, denied a report in the Tamil daily Virakesari Wednesday morning that President Kumaratunga had contacted him for talks to form a broad coalition.

“There is no basis for us to support the PA. It has categorically rejected the LTTE’s proposal for the Interim Self Governing Authority. It is indulging in dangerous war mongering. The President’s main ally is the JVP, which wants the ceasefire agreement scrapped and spoiling to plunge the country into war and anarchy. How can we support these people?’ said Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan.


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: