Speaker invites opposition parties to unity conference
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 August 2001, 15:24 GMT]
The Speaker Mr.Anura Bandaranaike has invited leaders of all political parties represented in parliament for a crucial conference Monday, 3 September. "This is to ensure that the request to re-summon parliament is backed by a majority of parliamentarians - at least 115 MPs -if the government prorogues parliament again on 7 September" authoritative sources said.
The Speaker's decision came in the wake of a meeting Wednesday morning with the delegation of leaders of seven opposition political parties. Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, United National Party (UNP) leader led the delegation, comprised of representatives of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Tamil United Liberation Front, All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation and Sihala Urumaya.
The opposition delegation handed over six resolutions to the Speaker at the discussion, which lasted more than two hours, parliament sources said. The resolutions included an immediate debate and vote on the motion of no confidence against the government and the impeachment of the Chief Justice.
Meanwhile, the ruling People's Alliance Wednesday accused UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe of being responsible for the collapse of the bipartisan talks Tuesday night. "The main reason for failing to achieve a common agreement at the talks was the attitude of the UNP leader," Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a press conference Wednesday. Mr.Mangala Samaraweera was a member of the PA delegation, which participated in the talks with the UNP.
Addressing a press conference at the Department of Information Mr.Mangala Samaraweera said that "the UNP delegation that attended the talks were flexible and friendly in their outlook. However the leadership of the UNP was in sharp contrast with the situation."
Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva said that "the continuous insistence of the UNP leader on a premiership with executive powers not included in the present constitution was the main factor where an agreement could not be reached."