Written by Staff Writer
02 Apr, 2019 | 8:01 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The expenditure heads of several portfolios coming under the purview of Ministers Vajira Abeywardena and Patali Champika Ranawaka, were defeated in parliament last week.
What prompted these events?
Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella claims that the defeat of the expenditure heads was the result of a conspiracy. He noted yesterday (April 1) that there was an agreement that it would not be put to a vote but it was later violated. He added that they were stabbed in the back just as on October 26th.
In a statement to the Island newspaper, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said the defeat of the expenditure heads underscores the failures of the government in carrying out its duties. Rajapaksa had noted that adopting the budget is the responsibility of the government while defeating it is the duty of the opposition.
He added that this instance highlighted the displeasure of ruling party MP’s towards Ministers Vajira Abeywardena and Patali Champika Ranawaka.
United National Party parliamentarian Ishak Rahman noted that whilst the budget has been presented to parliament, on Thursday the budget was defeated and it was because the backbenchers gave a small sign to show that they too could do something.
However, UPFA MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena noted that there is no need to blame the defeat on them. He noted that if they had convened their MP’s and taken the vote, there wouldn’t be a problem. He said this clearly shows that there is frustration among UNP MPs as well.
Speaking at a media briefing UPFA MP Nimal Siripala de Silva questioned; “Who defeated the expenditure heads? Was it us?” He noted that the UNP had a majority and they defeated themselves, now they are attempting to pass that defeat on to the minority. He noted that the UNPers were unable to muster 50 members to vote for this and therefore, they must be held responsible for it, including the Leader of the House.
MP Dayasiri Jayasekara who was also present noted that there is an internal conflict in the UNP. He noted that what they said by defeating Champika Ranawaka’s budget is that they are capable of defeating others too if they wish.
He went onto note that they said he (Champika) was too big headed and so they taught him a lesson, therefore it is clear that it is a conflict within the UNP. He noted that even Vajira Abyewardena was not there to vote in favour of his budget. MP Jayasekara questioned; “if they themselves are absent then what is the point in blaming others?” He noted that their MPs have a problem with the Ministers.
During a press briefing, today Minister Rajitha Senaratne was also questioned the matter. Journalists questioned him as to who should take the major proportion of the responsibility of the defeat. He noted that the government should take responsibility and that they should be prepared.
When questioned if the Leader of the House should be responsible for it, he noted that they are all responsible for it, not just one.
Was the defeat of the expenditure heads a conspiracy as portrayed by Minister Lakshman Kiriella?
Was it a message from backbench MPs to the government?
Or, was it a warning to the leadership from seniors in the ruling party?
For the attention of the public.
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