- Over 80 parliamentarians to have signed letter pledging support
- SLFP fails to attend meeting
By Skandha Gunasekara
All parties representing the United National Front yesterday gathered to sign a document expressing their confidence in the Prime Minister, Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga told the Daily FT.
The MPs had congregated for a meeting held within the parliamentary complex where a letter was signed pledging support to the Premier in the face of the no-confidence motion against him.
UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman revealed that over 80 parliamentarians had agreed to support the Prime Minister.
Ministers Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Palani Digambaram and Mano Ganesan had signed the letter, MP Rahuman revealed.
MP Rahuman added that all those gathered had unanimously decided to defeat the no-confidence motion. Those MPs who were currently abroad too had expressed their backing of the Prime Minister over the phone.
SLFP MPs were not present at the meeting, MP Rahuman divulged.
The signed letter was handed over to the Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, who in turn is expected to present it to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.
The Joint Opposition on Wednesday (21) submitted a no-confidence motion to the Speaker against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, consisting of 14 accusations against him, including being directly involved in the Central Bank bond scam and mismanagement of the economy.
Speaker Jayasuriya yesterday decreed that the debate on the no-confidence motion would be taken up on 4 April.