PA divided over national govt. formation
[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 December 2001, 23:21 GMT]
A major split in the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) became evident Saturday when the State run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) reported in its night news bulletin that a group of twenty three parliamentarians including several former ministers of the PA has decided to support the proposal of forming a national government. The Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe of the ruling United National Front (UNF) has put forward this proposal to all political parties represented in the new parliament.
"I have discussed with former ministers Mr.A.H.M.Fowzie and Mr.Jeyaraj Fernandopulle with regard to the proposal of the formation of a national government made by Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe. We considered it a sound proposal as the country faces serious problems including the war, economy and unemployment. We hope these problems could be solved with the formation of a national government. We, 23 MPs and former ministers of the PA have now decided to extend our support to the Prime Minister to form a national government," said Mr.Richard Pathirana, PA parliamentarian and a former minister, according to the SLBC news bulletin.
The present parliamentary strength of the PA now stands at 77.
Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the People's Alliance Saturday decided not to join a national government or an all-party government, according to another report carried by the SLBC Saturday night.
This decision was taken at the central working committee of the SLFP chaired by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge not to accept any government post. President Chandrika Kumaratunge is the president of the SLFP.
Majority of the parliamentarians in the PA are members of the SLFP.