Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
The Joint Opposition handed over the much-anticipated No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Government to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya this afternoon.
Joint Opposition MPs, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, were seen at the Speaker’s office during the handing over of the motion.
Joint Opposition Parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane told a media briefing that several Government MPs had also signed the motion together with the Joint Opposition MPs.
Fifty-one MPs of the Joint Opposition had singed motion together with four SLFP MPs including Nishantha Muthuhettigamage, Susantha Punchinilame, T. B. Ekanayake and M. Cader Mastan.
However, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not signed the motion.
The motion contained 14 allegations, which are mostly connected with the Central Bank Bond Scam and bringing in several legislations and getting the approval for them violating the Constitution.
One significant allegation is the Premier alleged failure as the Minister in charge of Law and Order to control recent violence in Kandy.
Mr Gunawardane said the motion would create a crisis for the Government.
“We expect the Speaker to give maximum priority to this motion as per Parliamentary tradition,” he said.
MP Dallas Allahaperuma said the people made it clear that they had lost confidence on the Prime Minister on February 10, 2018, at the Local Government Elections.
He claimed that more than 79 percent of the people had rejected the Prime Minister and the Government at the last Local Government Elections.
“This is not a mere attempt to assassinate one’s character, but fulfilling a duty towards a nation which is in jeopardy,” he said.
MP Udaya Gammanpila said they were confident that 22 UNP members would support the motion.
He said they have informed Joint Opposition that they would perform their duty at the appropriate time.
“Some UNPers have refused to sign the motion for security reasons,” he said.
He said the Joint Opposition was also confident that JVP would support the motion as well.
Mr Gammanpila said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who always stood up to UK tradition should resign from the post.
“He should also follow South African President Jacob Zuma, who resigned when an impeachment motion against him was brought in. Asked who would become the Prime Minister in the event Mr Wickremesinghe was defeated Mr. Alahapperuma said getting the motion passed is the most important thing.
“One should answer the first question in the examination paper and then go gradually to answer the seventh question,” he said.
MP Wimal Weerawansa said the Speaker should not treat the way he treats the Joint Opposition the way he usually does.
“The Speaker usually makes decision after looking at Mr. Wickremesinghe’s face but he should not do it this time,” he said.