Tamil National Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran says the party decided to abstain instead of voting against the Budget due to the President’s recent expression of interest in discussing with Tamil political parties on the Tamil national question.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Sumanthiran said the MPs of the party criticised the Budget during the debate.
“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 second reading, for one reason,” he said. According to him, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has on numerous occasions in the last few 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,” he said.