SL Parliament to meet amid political tension

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 February 2007, 13:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament is to meet Tuesday again amid political tension in the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government created by the sacking of three ministers by President Mahinda Rajapakse. Parliament met last time amid tension created by the defection of eighteen parliamentarians from the main opposition United National Party (UNP) to government side, sources said.

Anura Bandaranaike, one of the sacked ministers later was able to reconcile with Mahinda Rajapakse and was to be sworn in again as Minister of Heritage Sunday.

However, Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi have indicated that they will not join the government and accept ministerial portfolios under any circumstances.

Mr. Samaraweera has said that he will sit in the backbench in parliament and support the government even if Mr Rajapakse accepts his ten demands forwarded to the government in writing, sources said.

Presidential sources said Mr Rajapakse would not yield to the threat. Mr. Sooriyarachchi has threatened that he will expose the government's secret dealings with the LTTE, media sources in Colombo.

Meanwhile, a debate of the report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) will take place in parliament on February 22 and 23. The COPE chairman is Wijesdasa Rajapakse, UPFA parliamentarian. The COPE report has charged corruption in 26 government institutions and called on the government to inquire into the allegations and punish the errant officials, sources said.

The debate will be proposed by the UNP and seconded by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) during adjournment time on February 22, sources said.


Chronology:


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