Sampanthan writes to Speaker; says ITAK should get Opposition Leader’s post

Saturday, 11 April 2015 01:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

TNA Leader and Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan TNA Leader and Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan yesterday told Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa that since the Government was composed of both the UPFA and UNP it was against parliamentary traditions for any MP elected from either of these parties to hold the Opposition Leader’s position. In a letter addressed to the Speaker, Sampanthan said that legally and according to parliamentary traditions the Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) is entitled to hold the post of Leader of the Opposition. In the letter Sampanthan said: “Since the Government is today composed of both the UPFA and the UNP that disentitles both of those parties from occupying the seat of the Leader of the Opposition. No Member of Parliament elected from the UPFA or UNP can be Leader of the Opposition. Sampanthan... This clearly is the legal position as well as one that accords with parliamentary tradition, both of our country and the Commonwealth. The resultant position is that it is the ITAK that is entitled to the post of the Leader of the Opposition, having 14 Members of Parliament.” The letter further explained that it was written with the intention of making clear the ITAK’s position on the Opposition Leader’s position to the Speaker following the Speaker’s comments on the matter on Wednesday in Parliament. The ITAK is the main constituent party of the TNA.