ECONOMYNEX – Sri Lanka’s main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and the opposition National People’s Power (NPP) will boycott parliament this week, opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said and NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said before proceeding to walk out of the chamber.
The government has turned parliament into a talk shop and time spent in parliament is a waste of time and offers no solution to the people suffering outside, Premadasa told parliament on Tuesday June 21.
“We will boycott this parliament,” thundered Premadasa.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanyaake echoing Premadasa’s statement said no useful solutions have come out of parliament so far.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis in its post-Inedependence history, with long queues for essentials seen around the country.
Dissanayake said the government must present to parliament a short term plan or a roadmap with proposals for a way out of the crisis.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesnghe are in two camps and conflict is brewing between them, claimed Dissanayake.
“There is no point debating here if no roadmap or plan is presented to parliament,” he said.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) general secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara also demanded a plan on solutions to Sri Lanka’s lengthening fuel queues.
Government MP Nimal Lanza said opposition parties including the NPP was uninterested in forming an all party government when overtures were first made.
“Don’t speak empty words and mislead the people. If you have a plan, we will raise both hands and extend our support,” he said.
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa claimed that some SLFP MPs and MPs from Lanza’s group had secretly proposed to President Rajapaksa that Wickremesinghe be appointed Prime Minister.
Refuting this claim, Lanza said: “Don’t get me started [on others].”
“However, there needs to be a government. We’re not going to attack a new government just for the sake of it. But a Prime Minister needs to have a plan. It doesn’t look like they even have an answer to the crisis.
“It was implied that Wickremesinghe would be able to pull billions of dollars out of his pocket soon after his appointment, given his supposed international connections. That hasn’t happened,” said Weerawansa. (Colombo/Jun21/2022)