JVP says will boycott Tsunami debate

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 February 2005, 06:40 GMT]
In the first clear signal of a rift with President Kumaratunga, her main coalition partner, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), said Tuesday that it will not take part in the debate on the Tsunami devastation in Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. With thirty nine MPs, the JVP calls the shots in the ruling coalition. If the party pulls out of the Kumaratunga led alliance, Sri Lanka’s President has to go for another general election or seek the support of her rival, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, to run the government.

A JVP spokesman said Tuesday in Colombo that his party’s politburo had discussed the matter at length on Monday night and resolved to keep away from the debate on the grounds that President Kumaratunga did not consult them regarding Tsunami relief and aid and because the party is not satisfied with the manner in which Tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work is being handled by the her government.

Trouble between President Kumaratunga and JVP has been brewing since the Marxists launched an ambitious program to rehabilitate a thousand rural tanks. This was widely seen as part of the JVP's strategy of cutting grass under the President’s feet, by using their new found power in government to win over the impoverished rural Sinhala masses.

 

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