Ashu Marasinghe resigns from post of Assistant Chief Government Whip

Ashu Marasinghe resigns from post of Assistant Chief Government Whip

Written by Staff Writer

29 Mar, 2019 | 7:45 pm

Colombo (News 1st): MPs of the joint opposition called for a vote in parliament yesterday (March 28), for the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. The expenditure heads of these ministries were defeated in parliament yesterday.

MP Ashu Marasinghe in his letter addressed to the prime minister, states that the responsibility of defeat of the expenditure heads must be borne by the chief government whip, the two deputy chief government whips, and the three assistant chief government whips of the ruling party.

In his letter, MP Ashu Marasinghe expressed his disappointment over his negligence, inattentiveness and his inability to obtain the support of MPs, in this regard. The letter addressed to the prime minister also expresses his disappointment over the inconvenience caused to Ministers Wajira Abeywardana and Patali Champika Ranawaka.

MP Marasinghe noted that there is no point in holding onto a responsibility that one cannot fulfil. Therefore, he conveyed this message, as it is important for the ruling party to go forward.

In parliament today (March 29) MP Shehan Semasinghe speaking about his resignation noted that likewise, Minister Champika Ranawaka and Minister Vajira Abeywardena have the responsibility of getting their expenditure heads approved. He noted that they too should resign from their positions until their respective expenditure heads are approved.

Adding to this MP Bandula Gunawardene noted that there will be a complete change in the budget process following the defeat of the two expenditure heads. He requested to inform the council of the measures that they plan to follow in respect of the heads of expenditures of these two Ministries.

Responding to this Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella noted that funds for the ministries have been allocated until April 30th. He noted that as per standing orders, the proposal can be represented and approved before April 30th. He added that only Rs. 10 will be removed, however, as per standing orders they will present it again.

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that similar incidents took place during his government as well and heads of expenditures of ministries which were under then ministers Thondaman and Rathnasiri Wickremenayake were defeated.

He added that when such incidents took place, the speaker would convene a meeting and discuss the relevant measures that should be taken. Rajapaksa noted that they do not disapprove the steps taken by this government, however, if they are finding short cuts to address this matter, such will be considered inappropriate.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella responded stating that they will hold discussions, in this regard and also will invite the opposition leader for the discussions.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that from the Rs. 2312 billion allocated to them Rs. 320 has been deducted. He noted that they can proceed with or without the Rs 320. The premier noted that a few MPs were not present but they tried to make an amendment, and to re-include the Rs20, according to parliamentary traditions. He added that this is not an issue and that they will get this approved.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka spoke about the defeat of the Expenditure Head of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development in parliament yesterday (March 28).

He noted that the defeat occurred due to the negligence of the government. He noted that the government is making arrangements to pass this in parliament by bringing in a Supplementary Estimate and this did not happen in the way the opposition claims.

Minister Ranawaka said the opposition is afraid of the government and it was clear during the debate yesterday. He noted that they let out the grief of losing the 52 day revolution to this is a temporary incident. He added that the public will soon see how the budget and the ministries will start functioning on April 5th.

Despite everything that takes place in line with standing orders in parliament and the existing legal system in our country, what message is conveyed through the defeat of the expenditure heads in parliament yesterday?

Does the defeat of expenditure heads of two powerful ministries not indicate the level of confidence bestowed in the government?

Is the message conveyed by the ministers and MPs of the ruling party itself, not powerful enough?

Despite what is said by the Prime Minister, the public remains vigilant.

The people are watching you!

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