JO and JVP boycott President’s Party Leaders’ meeting

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Skandha Gunasekara

The JVP and the Joint Opposition boycotted the Party Leaders’ meeting presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, asserting that they would attend the Party Leaders meeting to be held with the Speaker today. 

Joint Opposition group leader in Parliament MP Dinesh Gunawardana told the Daily FT that if the President had any clarifications to make on the bond report, he could do so while addressing Parliament. 

“When allegations were made that some documents were missing, the Speaker assured the House that the complete report was submitted to Parliament. We then called on the Speaker to summon the Secretary to the President for an explanation. Instead of allowing the Secretary to the President to come to Parliament, the President is attempting make clarifications. He should do so before Parliament so that the masses too are aware of the reasons, instead of doing behind closed doors,” Gunawardana said.

He went on to note that matter needed to be resolved with the Speaker as he had made the assurance to Parliament. 

“The issue is with the Speaker, not the President. The Speaker has made various announcement in the House regarding the documents received and those missing. We have to resolve this matter with the Speaker and will do so at the Party Leaders meeting he has summoned for the 30th of this month,” Gunawardana said.

Meanwhile, JVP Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath, addressing a press briefing at the Party Headquarters yesterday, said the President should clarify matters to Parliament.

“The President must give an explanation in Parliament so that the people are aware of what is going on with the Bond report. It is useless him giving an explanation at a Party leaders meeting,” Herath said.

Furthermore, the JVP challenged the President to convene Parliament.

Herath added: “The President should use his powers and summon Parliament to debate the bond and PRECIFAC reports, instead of making useless statements and talking big. He convened Parliament while he was abroad during the Meethotamulla garbage crisis. He could do the same now.”

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has summoned a Party Leaders’ meeting at the Parliamentary complex for 12.00 pm, soon after the weekly meeting of Cabinet Ministers.