JVP boycotts meeting with Prime Minister

JVP boycotts meeting with Prime Minister

JVP boycotts meeting with Prime Minister

Written by Jayamal Ratnayake

01 May, 2020 | 7:35 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s far-left People’s Liberation Front (JVP) party has boycotted a meeting between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and all former lawmakers, urging the President to reconvene Parliament or to seek a determination from the Supreme Court.

Rajapaksa, on Thursday, invited all former parliamentarians for a meeting at his official residence next Monday, to discuss the current situation surrounding COVID-19 in the country.

“Summoning all 225 former parliamentarians to discuss on combatting COVID-19, instead of reconvening Parliament, is a futile exercise,” JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake wrote to the Prime Minister.

The law requires parliament to be convened after an election on June 2, but the opposition has pointed out that the country could face a constitutional crisis as the election has been fixed for June 20.

The JVP leader said that discussing such matters and issues concerning the government’s legal authority to handle public expenses as the interim budget expired this week, cannot be resolved through a meeting.

“If the government wants to discuss granting relief to the people, it would be ideal for the President and Prime Minister to convene a meeting with all party leaders,” Dissanayake opined.

The government has repeatedly turned down requests to reconvene Parliament or to go before the supreme court, insisting that they would go ahead with the poll which has been delayed due to the spread of COVID-19.

The interim budget outlining government expenses for the first quarter of 2020 expired this week, but President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he would not convene Parliament to pass additional funds.

Dissanayake added that his party will support efforts to battle the pandemic and also assist in making decisions aiming to restore normalcy in the country.

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