Parliament will debate the no-faith motion, moved by the Joint Opposition (JO), against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm today. The vote on the motion will be taken at 9.00 pm as per a decision by party leaders.
The public gallery would be closed to schoolchildren. The public gallery and the Speaker’s gallery will be open to special invitees.
Leaders of the UNF constituents met at the Parliament complex yesterday and decided to vote against the no-faith motion. The leaders made the decision after having talks with Prime Minister Ranil WicKremesinghe.
Earlier in the day, at the Cabinet meeting presided by President Maithripala Sirisena, Civil Aviation and Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who is also the Vice President of the SLFP said that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe should resign from his position before the motion was taken up in Parliament.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe did not respond to the call by Minister de Silva, but the party leaders, ministers of UNF had not agreed to Minister de Silva’s request, Education Minister and UNP Deputy General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told The Island.
Minister Kariyawasam said the party leaders of the UNF had stated at the Cabinet meeting that Wickremesinghe should continue as the Prime Minister.
Kariyawasam said President Maithripala Sirisena had pledged to stay neutral as regards the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. That assurance had been given when UNF Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, Rajitha Senaratne, Mangala Samaraweera, Arjuna Ranatunga and he met the President yesterday morning, Minister Kariyawasam said.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)