PA says cabinet with President amid dispute reports
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 July 2001, 15:45 GMT]
The government Parliamentary group and the cabinet Wednesday unanimously expressed "their fullest support and confidence on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and her on-going program in tackling the present political crisis developed following the submission of a no-confidence motion by the opposition against her government," according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Sri Lankan government amid reports that some senior ministers in the cabinet were in disagreement with the President over her decision to prorogue parliament and to hold a referendum on a new constitution in August.
"Minister Mr. Richard Pathirana proposed the vote of confidence on the President at parliamentary group meeting. Minister Mr. Douglas Devananda seconded it. They said the President was finally consolidating democracy in the country which almost for two decades was democratic only in name," the State - run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation reported in its evening news bulletin.
The press release further said, "The Cabinet met Wednesday with the President in the chair. It unanimously approved the decision of the President to prorogue Parliament and to hold referendum on August 21".
Sources said that the government was compelled to have a vote of confidence in the cabinet to pre-empt the divisions that are spilling into the open.