UNP digs in over parliament

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 August 2001, 19:36 GMT]
Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Opposition said Thursday that the fate of the present government will be decided on September 7 when parliament is reconvened. Addressing the protest rally organized by the Alliance for Democracy at the Town Hall in Colombo, Mr.Wickremasinghe said, "my party is not prepared to give a new lease of life to the People's Alliance government which is now on the verge of collapse due to its bad governance."

"Parliament should be reconvened immediately. Parliament is the appropriate forum to discuss and find solutions to the political crisis the country is now undergoing. All opposition parties unanimously decided that parliament should be reconvened, that the postponed referendum be cancelled and that five independent commissions for various sectors be established to strengthen the democratic ideals in the country. If the government wanted to salvage the country from economic and political instability, then it should accept all these demands," Mr.Wickremasinghe said.

Mr.Rauff Hakeem, President of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Kandy District Parliamentarian said, "the present government came to power through election malpractice. This government should be defeated if the country is to attain political and economic stability."

"Since the PA government came to power, minority communities live in fear for their lives, losing their rights and privileges. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress would support any move taken by the joint opposition to oust this government from power," Mr.Hakeem added.

Mr.V.Anandasangaree, Senior Vice President of the Tamil United Liberation Front said, "President Chandrika Kumaratunge is now taking every step to safeguard her power, destroying democracy in the process. Her father and mother as Prime Ministers of the country safeguarded the concept of democracy. It is sad to note that their daughter is now engaged in anti-democratic activities by shutting down parliament to avoid defeat."

Several leaders of other opposition political parties also spoke.


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