“Though critical of the Budget,the TNA did not Vote against it because President Wickremesinghe has stated he wants to Resolve the Tamil National Question and has invited Tamil Parties to have Discussions with him”- TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran MP

(Excerpt of Speech made in Parliament by Jaffna District MP and TNA Spokesman M.A.Sumanthiran M.P on 23rd November 2022)

Thank you Hon. Speaker for the time given to say a few words on the allocation to the Presidential secretariat, Supreme Court, Independent commissions and a long list of 25 institutions.

Before I get to the subject matter, I wish to clarify what we did at the vote last evening, I did explain right at the end of my speech, nevertheless, time was insufficient so therefore I’d like to say that right through the debate on the 2nd reading, all members of the Tamil National Alliance criticised the budget.

Every one of us for various reasons, I don’t need to repeat that. And ordinarily, we would have had to therefore vote against the budget at the second reading. However, we took a decision not to cast our votes against the budget at the 2nd reading, for one reason and that is because his Excellency the President has on numerous occasions in the last few days, the last 10 days, repeatedly said that he wants to resolve the Tamil National Question. And has invited the Tamil Parties to have discussions with him.

We have publicly expressed our scepticism about this invitation, nevertheless when there is a hand that is stretched out from the President himself, we thought we must reciprocate in some way and therefore would not vote against the budget as a signal of our bona fides in this matter