By Ashwin Hemmathagama
The Vote on the No-Confidence Motion presented by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was defeated yesterday in Parliament with a majority of 27 votes, with 119 lawmakers voting against the Motion and 92 votes received in favour.
Thirteen lawmakers including United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs Udaya Gammanpila, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. V. Radhakrishnan, United National Party MPs Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Dunesh Gankanda, S.B. Nawinne, and Ashoka Priyantha were absent for the vote. This meant 211 lawmakers were present during the vote.
Opening the debate, UPFA lawmaker Wimal Weerawansa charged the Government for not being able to protect people against Wahhabism. “Still the Tawheed Jamath office in Maligawatte is operating. But boasts to be the only country in the world to have eliminated Islamic State. People do need a change. We invite all lawmakers to join hands to defeat this irresponsible government,” he said.
In response, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka held the Government and the security forces including the intelligence services are unable to get away from the responsibility of the damages from the attacks. However, the Minister held that it should not be made use for political advantages rather getting together to defeat terrorism.
“Answer is not the Government going home and making room for international terrorism. This should be considered as a matter that goes beyond political gains where all political movements join to launch a national campaign. Whenever a terrorist attack took place, scapegoats were found during the last 30 years. We need a better system in place to defeat the modern-day terrorism different from the LTTE or the JVP-led guerrilla terrorism. We should make the necessary changes to face this new terrorism,” he said.
According to the Minister, it is a must to identify the point which led to this attack and that created a security vacuum.
“The difference between the President and the Prime Minister led to this security vacuum. People gave a mandate defeating Mahinda Rajapakse to bring a balance of power. They rejected nepotism. We should discuss and reach a balance between personal independence and security. Repealing the 19th Amendment will bring arbitrary decision-making powers to the President. The members of this Parliament have an equal responsibility to defuse the public tension and security issues by passing new laws,” he added.