Colombo, November 5 (newsin.asia): The Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and parliament Speaker Karu Jaysruriya are on the war path, with the President declaring at a public rally that he will not back out of his actions in regard to the Prime Minister and the cabinet, and the Speaker declaring that he will not go by the changes effected by the President on October 26 and thereafter.
“I will not step back from the decisions I have taken and will not bow down to pressure,” Sirisena told the “Ratama Rakina Jana Mahimaya” rally here on Monday.
The President also said that the government formed by the newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa already has 113 MPs on its side to defeat any No Confidence Motion against him. The opposition United National Front (UNF) has presented a No Confidence Motion against the government headed by Rajapaksa.
Speaking further, the President informed that when he was on the lookout for a Prime Minister after he won the Presidential election in January 2015, he had first offered the post to Karu Jayasyuriya and Sajith Premadasa, but both had refused to take up the post.
“I invited Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take up the Premiership about eight months earlier. But he refused it saying that he cannot let down the leader. Then I invited Sajith Premadasa to take up the premiership about two months earlier as I could not work with Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also refused it,” he said addressing a rally in support of the new government.
The President said he wanted to select a leader suitable for the country and with whom he could work and added that he selected Mahinda Rajapaksa, who valued nationalism and tradition.
“We cannot work on foreign agendas,” Sirisena said.
Speaker Jayasuriya’s Statement
On the other hand, Speaker Jayasuriya said in a statement that he will have to continue with the previous statuses in Parliament until a clear majority is shown in parliament as a majority of the MPs have requested him to accept the previous composition (with United National Front leader Ranil Wickremesighe as Prime Minister).
Parliament is to meet on November 14 as per a gazette notification issued by the President. But speaker Jayasuriya said that the President had verbally told him that it would be meet on November 7.
The Speaker said in a statement that MPs had pointed out that changes which had been made in parliament were against the Constitution and the parliamentary tradition and they had requested him to accept the previous composition in Parliament.
He said he cannot remain silent anymore on the information received by him saying that peoples’ representatives are being offered perks and privileges, violating democratic principles.
Addressing the rally, the newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he will work closely with President Sirisena for economic development and people’s welfare.
Meanwhile, President Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) asked the Speaker to withdraw his statement.
:Making such a biased statement is unconstitutional and illegal. Decision on certain matters have to be taken according o the Constitution. The Speaker has no right to decide, who should be the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister should be appointed by the President,” Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama said.
He said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had been appointed by the President according to the Constitution and added that proroguing of the Parliament could also be done only by the President.
Former Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said the Speaker has no provision to take a stance like this and requested him to withdraw the statement. He said that the Speaker is trying to destabilize the country.
(The featured image at the top shows Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe greeting President Maithripala in better times. Photo.Presidents Media Division)