by Shamindra Ferdinando
Top JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, MP, yesterday faulted President Maithripala Sirisena for the last minute collapse of the move to oust PM Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Sirisena had caused the defeat by not pledging his support to the move publicly, Gunawardena alleged. Had Sirisena, in his capacity as the leader, taken a clear stand, the entire UPFA group comprising 96 members would have voted against the PM, Gunawardena said, appreciating the JVP contribution.
The six-member JVP parliamentary group voted for the NCM.
Gunawardena said that Sirisena had scuttled the whole UPFA operation and, thereby, discouraged the dissident UNP group from voting for the motion.
Gunawardena said so when Divaina asked whether the JO’s failed move had strengthened the UNP.
Despite the President’ betrayal 16 SLFPers, including six ministers had voted for the NCM, Gunawardena said, asserting that the JO/Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) would certainly benefit from the rift in the SLFP group in the government.
Gunawardena said that as a result of the NCM, the UNP-led administration wouldn’t be able to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Answering another query, Gunawardena said that the JO/SLPP was ready to work with the dissident group.
Asked by The Island whether JO/SLPP delegations had thrice met President Sirisena to seek his support for the no-faith motion, Gunawardena claimed that he hadn’t been a member of the team that was responsible for the operation.
Gunawardena said that political situation would continue to deteriorate though Wickremesinghe had survived the no-confidence motion. Insisting that Wickremesinghe was still vulnerable, Gunawardena said that turmoil would continue until fresh general election was held. “We’ll continue to push for a general election,” Gunawardena said.