UNP, JVP to vote against extension of emergency

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 July 2001, 10:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition, the United National Party Tuesday decided to vote against the motion on extending state of emergency which will be taken up for voting on Friday. "If the government holds the majority power in Parliament as repeatedly claimed by the Prime Minister, this is the best opportunity to prove it and show the strength of the government by ensuring the passage of the Emergency Regulations through Parliament" the parliamentary group of the UNP said in statement issued in this regard. Meanwhile the radical Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna that has 10 MPs in the parliament said it will also vote against the motion.

The full text of the statement issued by the UNP follows:

"The crisis at present is the government has lost the majority power in Parliament. What the government should do if it follows democratic principles is to resign immediately to make way for the Parliamentary group who has the confidence of the majority to form a government. But as usual, the government has chosen to engage in a disinformation campaign instead through the state media to hide the truth and to hang on to power by any means, taking cover under the Emergency Regulations and the war.

"It is of paramount importance that the confidence of the parliamentary majority is essential to conduct and win the war. According to the 1978 Constitution, Parliamentary approval on monthly basis is required to continue the imposition of Emergency Regulations and also to check the majority of the government in power in Parliament.

"The government displayed its majority power in the House to pass Emergency Regulations in the past while the JVP and Sinhala Urumaya voting against. If the government holds the majority power in Parliament as repeatedly claims by the Prime Minister, this is the best opportunity to prove it and show the strength of the government by ensuring the passage of the Emergency Regulations through Parliament.

"During the first and second world war the ruling party, resigned when it lost the majority in the House of Commons, making way for the group who held the confidence of the majority to form a government and continue the war successfully.

"The India and US banned LTTE long before it was proscribed in Sri Lanka. Like wise, the Emergency Regulations in this country did not have any bearing on the decision taken by the British Government to declare the LTTE as a terrorist organization and to proscribe it under the Terrorism Act 2000, legalized last year. Besides, the Government can act under the PTA and alternative provisions under the 6th Amendment to the Constitution when it deals with the LTTE.

"Hence, the UNP like in the past will vote against the motion to impose Emergency Regulations in Parliament.

"If the PA government is such patriotic, what it should do now is not to sling muck at opposition parties and spread canard but to tender its resignation immediately to make way for the group who commands the confidence of the majority in Parliament to form a government."

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