TNA votes against Sri Lanka's defense budget

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 09:20 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance voted against the Sri Lankan government’s 2004 budget allocation for defense and interior when it came up for voting at the committee stage in Parliament Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan, TNA MP for the Vanni, told TamilNet the alliance opposed the 80 billion-rupee allocation “to register a strong protest against the increase in defense spending in peace time and against President Kumaratunga for jeopardizing the peace process by her precipitate actions”.

Twelve TNA MPs who were present in the house at the time of the voting opposed the allocation for defense and interior.

Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru, TNA MP for Amparai and Mr. K Thangavadivel, TNA MP for Batticaloa did not come to Parliament Wednesday.

However, Mr. V. Anandasangaree, TNA MP for Jaffna who was present in the house earlier in the day, kept away from the voting.

The sole MP for the Democratic People’s Liberation Front, the political wing of the People’s Liberation Organisation of Thamil Eelam (PLOTE), Mr. Dharmalingam Siddharthan, also kept away from the voting.

The EPDP, the paramilitary which is a close ally of President Kumaratunga, voted for the allocation for the defense and interior ministries. The group has two MPs. One of them, the EPDP leader, Mr. Douglas Devananda, was absent in Parliament Wednesday.

The TNA walked out of the house later in the afternoon in protest against the opposition for not properly allocating time for speakers of the alliance on the committee stage vote on the ministry of women’s affairs.

 

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