Parliament yesterday defeated a No-Confidence Motion tabled by the opposition United National Party (UNP) against the External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.
The No-Confidence motion, defeated by a majority of 107 votes, received 139 votes against it while only 32 voted for it.
UNP parliamentarians John Amaratunga, Lakshman Kiriella, and Ravi Karunanayaka handed over the No-Confidence motion to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa last month.
The UNP has charged that the Minister’s inaction led to the suspension of the European Union’s GSP Plus trade concession to Sri Lanka and he failed to secure the support of the Non Aligned Movement against the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts.
Prof. Peiris has welcomed the debate on the motion as an opportunity for exposing the frivolous nature of it and the pettiness that underpinned it.
The European Union decided to suspend the tariff concession in February 2010, well before Prof. Peiris became the External Affairs Minister.
The EU’s decision followed an investigation by the European Commission that the country fell short in implementing three UN human rights conventions relevant for benefits under the scheme.
Political analysts questioning the motives of the UNP’s motion say the move when taken in a global perspective is a part of a specific strategy to isolate Sri Lanka from the West and label it as a proxy of China.