Dis­solv­ing Par­lia­ment and Polls only way out of po­lit­i­cal im­passe: UPFA

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By San­dun Jayawar­dana

The United Peo­ple’s Free­dom Al­liance (UPFA) yes­ter­day in­sisted that dis­solv­ing Par­lia­ment and go­ing for a Gen­eral Elec­tion was the only way out of the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal im­passe. Its lead­ers and Min­is­ters fur­ther ac­cused ousted Prime Min­is­ter (PM) Ranil Wick­remesinghe and Speaker Karu Jaya­suriya of forc­ing the Pres­i­dent’s hand by at­tempt­ing to drag the coun­try into a “state of an­ar­chy.”

Blame for the present ‘ Con­sti­tu­tional Cri­sis’ lay firmly with Mr Wick­remesinghe and Mr Jaya­suriya, the UPFA big­wigs al­leged.

Ad­dress­ing a me­dia brief­ing held at the PM’s of­fice, Ma­ha­jana Ek­sath Per­a­muna ( MEP) Leader Di­nesh Gu­nawar­dena in­sisted that the Govern­ment had fol­lowed all Con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions. “To­day, the peo­ple of this coun­try can de­cide by their free fran­chise to elect a new Par­lia­ment and a new Govern­ment there­after,” he stressed.

Mr Gu­nawar­dena also scoffed at claims that Par­lia­ment had been dis­solved be­cause the UPFA lacked the num­bers to show a ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment. “We have more MPs than Ranil Wick­remesinghe. He lost sev­eral of his MPs to us. The Tamil Na­tional Al­liance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimuk­thi Per­a­muna (JVP) had clearly in­di­cated they would not be part of a UNP Govern­ment. As such, it is clear that Pres­i­dent Sirisena and PM Ra­japaksa had a ma­jor­ity.”

The UPFA also re­it­er­ated the al­leged con­spir­acy to as­sas­si­nate Pres­i­dent Sirisena was what prompted the Pres­i­dent to act fast “to pro­tect democ­racy.” Na­tional Free­dom Front ( NFF) Leader Wi­mal Weer­awansa claimed that some of those di­rectly in­volved in the con­spir­acy were now holed up at Tem­ple Trees. He ac­cused the UNP, its al­liance part­ners, cer­tain Colombo based Western diplo­matic mis­sions and Non Gov­ern­men­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tions of try­ing to cre­ate a false im­pres­sion that democ­racy in the coun­try was in peril.

“If he (Wick­remesinghe) felt that his rights had been vi­o­lated, he could eas­ily have pe­ti­tioned the Supreme Court. This did not hap­pen. He forcibly took con­trol of Tem­ple Trees and claimed to still be PM. He even sent a Deep­avali mes­sage as the PM. This cre­ated an un­nec­es­sary cri­sis,” Mr Weer­awansa claimed.

Strong crit­i­cism was also di­rected at the Speaker, with UPFA MPs claim­ing he had over­stepped his bound­aries in at­tempt­ing to hold a floor test by sus­pend­ing Stand­ing Or­ders when Par­lia­ment re­con­venes on November 14. They also claimed he had at­tempted to per­suade Western na­tions to med­dle in the coun­try’s in­ter­nal af­fairs.

Min­is­ter D ay a s i r i Jayasekara ac­cused the UNP of try­ing to bribe UPFA MPs to cross over to their side, dur­ing the pe­riod Par­lia­ment had been pro­rogued. “If we al­lowed a sit­u­a­tion where MPs could be auc­tioned away in this man­ner, it would have cre­ated fur­ther chaos in the coun­try. As such, rather than let the 225 MPs in Par­lia­ment set­tle this, the Pres­i­dent has taken mea­sures to let 15 mil­lion vot­ers in the coun­try de­cide,” he claimed. The UPFA was con­fi­dent that the Supreme Court wo u l d up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the Pres­i­dent’s ac­tions, when they are chal­lenged, said Min­is­ter Susil Pre­ma­jayan­tha. When ques­tioned whether the UPFA will con­test un­der its own ban­ner, or as the Sri Lanka Po­du­jana Per­a­muna (SLPP), at the up­com­ing elec­tions, Mr Pre­ma­jayan­tha stressed that the poli­cies of the UPFA and the SLPP “are now firmly aligned,” but re­fused to say un­der which party they would con­test. “We will form a broad coali­tion. The party and the sym­bol will be made known in due course,” he added.

Di­nesh Gu­nawar­dena ad­dress­ing the me­dia

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