TNA urges intervention of diplomats to solve crisis situation in SL

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had urged the diplomats in a meeting held yesterday to use their influence with whoever necessary to set things right and put the country in the right path, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan said.

The TNA had a meeting at the Opposition Leader’s office with the fifteen members of diplomate community to discuss matters pertaining to the prevailing political crisis which initially started on October 26 this year. Diplomats from US, UK, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, EU, India, Korea, Bangladesh participated in the meeting.

Addressing the media after the meeting, he said they discussed how the then Prime Minister was removed, how the new prime minister was purportedly appointed, how Parliament was prorogued and dissolved and interim order of the Supreme Court suspending the dissolution of Parliament.

“The purportedly appointed Premier has not yet obtained a confident vote in parliament and proved majority in parliament despite various steps to secure majority,” said TNA leader.

He said two motions of no confidence were passed in Parliament on two separate dates and subsequently, the steps taken to submit the signed documents of 122 members to the Speaker which then transmitted to Parliament and the President.

“It seems that the purportedly appointed Premier and the Government continue to function and eventually it would create turbulence in the country,” Sampanthan said.

“The entire procedure into this has been done in violation of the Constitution and the law of the country. This a serious situation and that’s why we urge the diplomates to bring this dangerous situation into the knowledge of the responsible bodies so that there would an end to this state of affairs,” he added

Our party will not be a cat’s-paw for others-C.V.

Former Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran maintained that the political party newly created by him was formed amidst various difficulties and the objective of the party is not to enter into an alliance with another party and play second fiddle to them.

The former CM expressed these views at a central committee of the newly formed TMK party held at a public reception hall at Kandamadam Junction in Jaffna.

He expressed this view in response to a question raised by a participant who wanted to know what the TMK’s stand was with regard to Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan’s proposal for all Tamil parties to get together at this crucial time.

He re-iterated that neither he nor his party would ever join hands with the Tamil National Alliance for any reason nor contest an election under their symbol and that this decision was taken by him some time back when they organised a series of events to help Tamils of the North to rise up.

However, he said the TNA had shown that it was envious of anything undertaken by him for the benefit of the Tamil people and they had even worked to remove him from the Chief Minister’s post as a result. He said this clearly showed how ungrateful the TNA leaders were towards him after all that he had done during his tenure as Chief Minister.

He promised to make the TMK the foremost party in the North which works diligently for the sake of the people who have been fooled by the TNA that has taken them for granted

UNP to form broad political alliance

he United National Party (UNP) is reportedly planning to form a broad electoral alliance with like-minded political parties and under the leadership of a 10-member council.

Preliminary negotiations have been completed at the moment with the Jathika Hela Urumya (JHU), the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) joining with the UNP to form this new political front.

According to reports several Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members are expected to throw their weight behind this political alliance at the behest of former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

Former ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga will join the alliance as a separate entity and when formed, the new alliance is hoping to invite the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and civil society organizations.

The parties have identified the diamond as the most desired symbol for this proposed alliance when facing elections in the future.

“There is no final agreement on the symbol. But, the diamond seems to be the most desired symbol,” a source said.

General Elections: UPFA factions wrangle over Pohottuwa or beetle leaf

There is a tug-of-war between the sections of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on the selection of a symbol to contest the next general elections, it is learnt.

The UPFA faction, loyal to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, insists that they should contest the polls under the lotus bud or Pohottuwa symbol of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). As a step towards this, these MPs who worked under the banner of the Joint Opposition including the Prime Minister took membership of SLPP ahead of elections yesterday.

Along with them, eight MPs of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) also received SLPP membership. They are Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, Chandima Weerakkody, T.B. Ekanayake, Sumedha G. Jayasena, Susantha Punchinilame, Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Taranath Basnayake.

Ratnapura district MP Ranjith de Zoysa, who is from the Joint Opposition, told Daily Mirror that Pohottuwa was an attractive and appealing symbol, and therefore his party would be happy if all could unite under it to contest the elections.

“It is a fresh symbol that is popular and appealing to people,” he said.

However, UPFA MP Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Dayasiri Jayasekera said he was not ready to take up the SLPP membership purely for political ends.

“I am not willing to get its membership merely for my convenience in getting elected next time. There has to be a mechanism to protect the SLFP,” he said.

Minister Jayasekera said he would seek to contest under a broad alliance under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“It is an alliance that should accommodate all the progressive forces,” he said.

Earlier, UPFA Secretary Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said it would be better if all could contest under his party’s beetel symbol.

President’s Fund from 2015: Rs. 26.6 mn paid to 16 MPs

Sixteen parliamentarians have been paid a total of Rs. 26,617,357 as benefits by the president fund from 2015 to up to now.

The highest payment has been paid to 3 Members of Parliament in the year 2016 amount to Rs. 11,700,000.

Two MPs have been paid Rs. 3,917,406 in 2015 and four MPs have been paid Rs. 8,399,287 in 2017. In 2018, seven MPs have been paid Rs. 2,600,664 as benefits.

These details were obtained under the Right to Information Act, from the President’s Fund.

A normal citizen is paid aid less than Rs. 100,000