UPFA says will consider written appeal

Published : 4:25 pm  February 24, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana   
The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP), yesterday, officially informed the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) that it wishes to function as a separate independent group in Parliament. 

 

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A spokesman from the JNP told Daily Mirror that JNP leader Wimal Weerawansa had handed an official letter to this effect to UPFA general secretary Mahinda Amaraweera. Sources said the letter was handed over just minutes after Mr. Amaraweera said that Mr Weerawansa should have made the request to his alliance.   


“The JNP leader should have informed the UPFA about his party’s desire to become independent instead of making a request from the Speaker, he had said.   


 Mr. Amaraweera had said his party would consider whether to let the JNP function as a separate entity if a request was made.   
 “Many of these parties contest from the political parties which have a vote base during elections but later go on their own. It is possible to see the real strength of these parties if they contest an election on their own,” he said.   


Earlier in the morning, Mr Weerawansa had reminded the speaker Karu Jayasuriya of the request he had made on Wednesday, that the five members of the party be allowed to function as an independent group. “I originally made this request of you on April 5, 2016, but nothing has been done,” he said. Weerawansa made this statement in response to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who said that JNP MPs could sit independently as individuals but not as a party. “I am grateful that Mr Weerawansa has decided to be independent as it means that they no longer can work with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa,” the Prime minister had said.   


 Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said the usual procedure of Parliament was that only the parties from which members have contested the election are accepted as parties represented in the House. This had been pointed out by several leaders of parties represented in Parliament when they met later in the afternoon. Several Party leaders had said that each MP of the JNP had to become independent individually — and not collectively as a party. However the party leaders’ meeting had ended without a decision on the matter.   


 

It is a strategic move: MR

By Kalathma Jayawardhane   
MP Wimal Weerawansa’s request that five members of the National Freedom Front (NFF) would function separately in Parliament was a strategy, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.   Addressing the media at the launch of the National Assets Protection Centre, Mr. Rajapaksa said members of the NFF would remain as members of the joint opposition even though they would no longer be a part of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).   “At a point we all will get together. We are working according to a certain plan. We cannot reveal those tactics in public,” he said.   Commenting on the government’s move of selling national assets to foreign companies, he said that the mindset of the government was to sell national assets as the only solution for the country’s economic crisis.   He said there were several issues in the country even during the period of the former government but they had not sold national assets.  


“The government is continuously saying that they have to pay the debt of Rajapaksa’s. However, this government has already taken many loans just for these two years. We have not taken such a huge amount of loans during the period of the former government,” he said.   Meanwhile, the National Assets Protection Centre was established by the Joint Opposition, with the intention of fighting the governments’ attempts to alienate national assets. It was launched yesterday by Mr. Rajapaksa, at the Abhayaramaya in Narahenpita. The centre has been set up with the aid of several trade unions and organisations of professionals.   


 

Wimal can’t form a new party: Dayasiri

By Chaturanga Paradeep  
National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa has no right to form a new party to function independently, SLFP Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said at the weekly SLFP media briefing yesterday. 


 Mr. Weerawansa yesterday told Parliament that five members belonging to his party would function independently in the Opposition and that they should be recognised as a separate party in Parliament.   


He said he had informed the Speaker about this decision in writing earlier and the latter had failed to heed the request.  


“There are only three main parties in the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). All the other parties contested in the UPFA led by the SLFP. Those parties were not considered as separate entities. If Mr. Weerawansa wants to function as an independent party he can be independent in Parliament like Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera,” he said.   “Before he forms an individual party he should write to the SLFP General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera for permission,” the Minister said.     


 

Speaker urged to uphold independence:JO

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana  
The joint opposition yesterday urged speaker Karu Jayasuriya to accept the independence of various political parties its members belong to.  


The request was made by MPs Wimal Weerawansa and Chandrasiri Gajadeera in Parliament last morning.  


Mr Weerawansa actually reminded the speaker of the request he made on Wednesday that the five members of the National Freedom Front be allowed to function as an independent group. “I originally made this request of you on April 5, 2016 but nothing has been done about it” he said. 


He added that his party would continue to work with the joint opposition though it had decided to leave the UPFA. MP Weerawansa made this statement in response to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s remarks that NFF MPs can sit independently, individually and not as a party. “I am grateful that Mr Weerawansa has decided to be independent as it means that they no longer can work with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa” the Prime Minister said.  

 

 

 

 

 

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