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President Rajapaksa Rejects Offer of Responsible Cooperation in Return for Restoration of Parliament Made by Seven Opposition Parties; Dissolved Parliement Will not be Re-convened by President Writes Secretary Dr.PB Jayasundara

Responding to open statement from Opposition parties,
Dr. Jayasundara writes to former Opposition leader reiterating Parliament will not be reconvened

Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara yesterday said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not reconvene Parliament, despite the request of Opposition political parties.

In a letter addressed to former Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, Dr. Jayasundara said he had been instructed to inform Premadasa that the President would not reconvene Parliament, and rejected the open letter sent by the Opposition parties.

“It was observed that the signatories of the statement do not see the need for elections, and at a time when the entire State machinery is dedicated to the mitigation of COVID-19, are instead attempting to gain petty political advantages, and further narrow political objectives from reconvening Parliament. The signatories do not appreciate the immense effort made by the public sector and tri-forces, as well as other stakeholders in the efforts to counter the virus,” the letter sent by Dr. Jayasundara and released by the President’s Media Division said. The letter also said Parliament had been dissolved under the constitutional powers given to the President, and the statement from the Opposition political parties calling for the reconvening of Parliament acknowledged this right.

“Therefore, the dissolved Parliament cannot be reconvened. I have been instructed to inform you that the Elections Commission had initially scheduled the Parliamentary Election for 25 April, and it was subsequently decided the election will be held on 20 June.”

On Monday, all Opposition party leaders sent an open statement to President Rajapaksa, requesting for Parliament to be reconvened, and pledging their support to the Government for COVID-19 containment measures.

The statement was signed by United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem, Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader Mano Ganesan and All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Leader Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka (Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)), and former Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

Courtesy:Daily FT