By Saman Indrajith
Five out of the six SLFP ministers who voted for the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have informed the UNP that they would quit their ministerial portfolios.
Ministers Chandima Weerakkody, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premjayantha, and John Seneviratne have conveyed their decision to the UNP.
However, SLFP Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera hadn’t so far indicated what he intended to do, sources said.
In a letter, handed over to Premier Wickremesinghe on Wednesday night, a group of 33 UNP backbenchers requested that those ministers who had voted for the motion against the PM should be removed.
Leader of the House and Public Enterprise Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella told The Island that the UNP would not allow ministers who had voted against the PM and the government to hold Cabinet, state or deputy minister positions.
No-confidence motion against Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday with a majority of 46 votes. The motion against the Prime Minister received 76 votes in favour and 122 votes against while 26 MPs absent at the division taken by name.
Government rank SLFP members absent were Mahinda Amaraweera, Sarath Amunugama, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Duminda Dissanayake, Faizer Mustapha, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Wijith Wijyamuni Zoysa, Piyasasena Gamage, Mohan Lal Grero, Sriyani Wijewickrama, MALM Hisbullah, AHM Fowzie, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Manusha Nanayakkara, Nishantha Mutuhettigama, Indika Bandaranayake and Weerakumara Dissanayake.
The group of the SLFP which voted in favour of the motion included Parliamentarians Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dilan Perera, John Seneviratne, Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Tharanath Basnayake, Susantha Punchinilame, Anura Yapa, S B Dissanayake, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Chandima Weerakkody, Anuradha Jayaratne, TB Ekanayake and Sumedha Jayasena.