Bill defeat - UNP wants Govt. out

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 April 2000, 14:10 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition, the United National Party, boycotted Parliament this afternoon to protest against the government's refusal to step down over the defeat of a bill to dissolve the Paddy Marketing Board, a money losing public enterprise. According to the UNP, the Sri Lankan President who is also the Minister for Finance had stated in her budget speech on February 14 that the Paddy Marketing Board would be dissolved by her government. Therefore the defeat of the bill to scrap the PMB is in effect the defeat of the Statement of Government Policy argued the UNP.

Chairman of Committees, Mr. Rauff Hakeem MP who was in the chair at the time of the voting told UNPers who were clamouring from opposition benches for the government's resignation that he had no right to ask it to step down because the dissolution of the PMB was only a resolution under the financial act and not a money bill.

Article 49 (2) of the Sri Lankan constitution says "If Parliament rejects the Statement of Government Policy or the Appropriation Bill or passes a vote of no confidence in th Government, the Cabinet of Ministers shall stand dissolved, and the President shall, unless he has in the execise of his powers under Article 70, dissolve Parliament, appoint a Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, other Ministers and Deputy Ministers interms of Articles 43, 44, 45 and 46.

The PMB dissolution bill was presented for voting in Parliament today by Minister for Agriculture and Lands Mr.D.M Jayaratna MP.

Fifty nine MPs voted in favour of the bill and 62 voted against. Four ruling party MPs who were in the house today abstained.

Sources said that these government MPs were opposed in principle to the dissolution of the board as they are from paddy producing regions where farmers have benefited by the PMB's price guarantees in the uncertainty of the Sri Lankan rice market which is frequently hit by cheap imports.

The Tamil United Liberation Front also abstained from voting while MPs of the People's Liberation Organisation of Thamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Eelam People's Democratic Front (EPDP) voted for the bill.

The sole MP of the Thamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, Mr.'Selvam' Adaikalanathan voted against it.

Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris also argued today that there was no need for the government to step down over an opposition defeat of a resolution to dissolve the Paddy Marketing Board, as the defeat was not over a finance bill but merely a resolution under the finance act.

The Opposition and the left say that the government is dissolving the PMB under pressure from the World Bank and the IMF. They point out that farmers will be adversely affected by the vagaries of the rice market in the absence of the PMB.

The government, however, insists that the board has become a major financial liability.

 

Latest 15 Reports
19.07.18 23:22   Photo
Skulls with bullet-like holes excavated in Mannaar mass grave, women and children among victims
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
05.07.18 23:49  
Tamils need native movements to confront Colombo-centric environmental exploitations
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=4919