The main opposition United National Party (UNP) has intensified its campaign against the electricity tariff hike by handing over a No –Confidence Motion in Parliament against Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, informed sources said yesterday.
After last Wednesday’s candle light protest in the Well of Parliament, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake handed over this motion to Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Dissanayake. The motion has been signed by UNP MPs such Lakshman Kiriella, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Ranjan Ramanayake, Dilip Wedaarachchi, Chandrani Bandara, Palitha Thewarapperuma, Ruwan Wijewardene, Rosy Senanayake, Jayalath Jayawardane, Niroshan Perera and R Yogarajan.
In the motion, the UNP said though Minister Wanniarachchi called the tariff hike a ‘proposal’ by her predecessor, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, he denied it. The UNP further said Minister Ranawaka had even challenged Minister Wanniarachchi to substantiate her statement if possible.
“It is obvious that the Minister has deliberately misled the House and in doing so, is guilty of a breach of privilege of the whole House and also its members. In the circumstances, this House resolves that it no longer has any confidence in Pavithra Wanniarachchi to continue as the Minister of Power and Energy,” the motion says.
The UNP has handed over yet another No Confidence Motion against Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Dilan Perera over what the party called ‘failure on his part, to secure clemency for housemaid Rizana Nafeek.’ Rizana Nafeek was beheaded in Saudi Arabia in January after being charged of killing an infant in her care. The motion is still pending in the Order Book.
If a no confidence against a Minister is passed, he or she ceases to hold that post. Earlier, the UNP brought a similar motion against External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. Yet, it was defeated by the government which holds a two-third majority.
(Courtesy: DM Online)