Government accused of prolonging war
[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 October 1998, 20:41 GMT]
The PA government is using the shortfall of 16 MPs as a pretext to carry on with the war without settling the ethnic conflict said Mr.Ronnie de Mel MP. The powerful ex minister of finance during the previous UNP government, was speaking this morning at the press conference held in the Opposition Leader's official residence on the continuing protest fast of unemployed university graduates who are demanding that the government should provide them with jobs.
Another UNP leader, Karunasena Kodithuwakku MP was also present at the press meeting.
Mr.Ronnie de Mel said that the government should talk unconditionally with the Liberation Tigers to determine their views on a peaceful settlement.
Rather than keep blaming the UNP for its inability to get a two third majority in Parliament to make the devolution package law, the PA regime should discuss the UNP's alternative proposal in a select committee to reach a consensus said Mr. Mel.
There are 225 seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The government and its allies have 113 seats.
The Tamil parties which are expected to vote with the PA on the devolution have 27 seats. The PA needs 150 votes for a two third majority in Parliament to bring an amendment to the constitution or to repeal its Articles.
Given the fact the government can expect several votes from coalition partners, it needs a further 16 MP's from the opposition to vote with it to make its proposals on autonomy law.
The government blames the UNP for not helping the smooth passage of the peace package in Parliament.